Clear and present strangers

The clash of civilizations and international conflict

Errol Anthony Henderson, Richard Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

139 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Huntington's (1993a, 1993b, 1996) clash of civilizations thesis suggests that states belonging to different civilizations are more likely to become involved in conflict with one another. To evaluate the empirical accuracy of Huntington's claims, we examined the relationship between civilization membership and interestate war between 1816 and 1992. We find that civilization membership was not significantly associated with the onset of interstate war during the Cold War era (1946-1988), which is consistent with one aspect of Huntington's thesis; however, we also find that for the pre-Cold War period (1816-1945) states of similar civilizations were more likely to fight each other than were those of different civilizations, which contradicts Huntington's thesis. Most importantly, our analysis reveals that during the post-Cold War era (1989-1992), the period in which Huntington contends that the clash of civilizations should be most apparent, civilization membership was not significantly associated with the probability of interstate war. All told, our findings challenge Huntington's claims and seriously undermine the policy recommendations that devolve from his clash of civilizations thesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-338
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Studies Quarterly
Volume45
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

Fingerprint

international conflict
civilization
present
cold war

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

Cite this

@article{c033fadb43b04099bde1c394e4b1f863,
title = "Clear and present strangers: The clash of civilizations and international conflict",
abstract = "Huntington's (1993a, 1993b, 1996) clash of civilizations thesis suggests that states belonging to different civilizations are more likely to become involved in conflict with one another. To evaluate the empirical accuracy of Huntington's claims, we examined the relationship between civilization membership and interestate war between 1816 and 1992. We find that civilization membership was not significantly associated with the onset of interstate war during the Cold War era (1946-1988), which is consistent with one aspect of Huntington's thesis; however, we also find that for the pre-Cold War period (1816-1945) states of similar civilizations were more likely to fight each other than were those of different civilizations, which contradicts Huntington's thesis. Most importantly, our analysis reveals that during the post-Cold War era (1989-1992), the period in which Huntington contends that the clash of civilizations should be most apparent, civilization membership was not significantly associated with the probability of interstate war. All told, our findings challenge Huntington's claims and seriously undermine the policy recommendations that devolve from his clash of civilizations thesis.",
author = "Henderson, {Errol Anthony} and Richard Tucker",
year = "2001",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/0020-8833.00193",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "45",
pages = "317--338",
journal = "International Studies Quarterly",
issn = "0020-8833",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "2",

}

Clear and present strangers : The clash of civilizations and international conflict. / Henderson, Errol Anthony; Tucker, Richard.

In: International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 45, No. 2, 01.01.2001, p. 317-338.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Clear and present strangers

T2 - The clash of civilizations and international conflict

AU - Henderson, Errol Anthony

AU - Tucker, Richard

PY - 2001/1/1

Y1 - 2001/1/1

N2 - Huntington's (1993a, 1993b, 1996) clash of civilizations thesis suggests that states belonging to different civilizations are more likely to become involved in conflict with one another. To evaluate the empirical accuracy of Huntington's claims, we examined the relationship between civilization membership and interestate war between 1816 and 1992. We find that civilization membership was not significantly associated with the onset of interstate war during the Cold War era (1946-1988), which is consistent with one aspect of Huntington's thesis; however, we also find that for the pre-Cold War period (1816-1945) states of similar civilizations were more likely to fight each other than were those of different civilizations, which contradicts Huntington's thesis. Most importantly, our analysis reveals that during the post-Cold War era (1989-1992), the period in which Huntington contends that the clash of civilizations should be most apparent, civilization membership was not significantly associated with the probability of interstate war. All told, our findings challenge Huntington's claims and seriously undermine the policy recommendations that devolve from his clash of civilizations thesis.

AB - Huntington's (1993a, 1993b, 1996) clash of civilizations thesis suggests that states belonging to different civilizations are more likely to become involved in conflict with one another. To evaluate the empirical accuracy of Huntington's claims, we examined the relationship between civilization membership and interestate war between 1816 and 1992. We find that civilization membership was not significantly associated with the onset of interstate war during the Cold War era (1946-1988), which is consistent with one aspect of Huntington's thesis; however, we also find that for the pre-Cold War period (1816-1945) states of similar civilizations were more likely to fight each other than were those of different civilizations, which contradicts Huntington's thesis. Most importantly, our analysis reveals that during the post-Cold War era (1989-1992), the period in which Huntington contends that the clash of civilizations should be most apparent, civilization membership was not significantly associated with the probability of interstate war. All told, our findings challenge Huntington's claims and seriously undermine the policy recommendations that devolve from his clash of civilizations thesis.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0034958473&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0034958473&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/0020-8833.00193

DO - 10.1111/0020-8833.00193

M3 - Article

VL - 45

SP - 317

EP - 338

JO - International Studies Quarterly

JF - International Studies Quarterly

SN - 0020-8833

IS - 2

ER -