Not letting evidence get in the way of assumptions: Testing the clash of civilizations thesis with more recent data

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Abstract

In this research note I examine Huntington's 'clash of civilizations' thesis in the light of his arguments to his detractors to apply his thesis to post-Cold War armed conflicts within states. Drawing on more recent data on intrastate armed conflict to 1999, I demonstrate that Huntington's thesis is not substantiated. What we observe is that many of the interethnic and inter-religious conflicts that occur in the post-Cold War era are clashes within rather than between civilizations, just as Huntington's critics have noted previously. In fact, in the post-Cold War era, where there have been changes in the incidence of 'clashes of civilizations' we find that their number has actually declined, if only marginally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)458-469
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Politics
Volume42
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

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post-Cold War
civilization
cold war
religious conflict
evidence
critic
incidence
conflict
thesis

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations

Cite this

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