"Clash Civilization Can not explain interstate relations"


Shireen Hunter


Samuel Huntington's  thesis of Clash of Civilization is a direct consequence of the Soviet collapse, and the end of East -West ideological competition, which led to a paradigm vacuum in international relations. For those, accustomed to analyze and explain international relations mostly in ideological terms, this situation was confusing, hence the search for an overarching paradigm to replace that of the East-West competition. Yet, as even in the Cold War era, ideology was not the sole motivation behind state behaviour, in the post-Cold war era, Clash of Civilizations does not explain the full spectrum of inter-state relations, and even that between states and non-state actors.


Shireen T. Hunter is Visiting Professor at the Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. From September 2005 until February 2007 she was a Visiting Fellow at the center where she conducted research on reformist Islam, a project funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. She is also Distinguished Scholar( Non –Resident) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., with which she has been associated since 1983 (Director of the Islam Program, 1998-2005; Senior Associate, 1993-97; and Deputy Director of the Middle East Program, 1983-92).  She is Consultant to the RAND Corporation; and she was Academic Fellow at Carnegie Corporation (2000-2002). Some of her books include:  Iran’s Foreign Policy in the Post-Soviet Era: Resisting the New International Order; Reformist Voices of Islam : Mediating Islam and Modernity; Islam and Human Rights: Advancing a US-Muslim Dialogue; Modernization, Democracy and Islam; The Future of Islam-West Relations: Clash of Civilizations or Peaceful Coexistence?.  Dr. Hunter is also the author of more than 30 book chapters and 40 articles in many leading journals.

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