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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Political Science and International Relations