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Samuel Huntington's Theory of Geopolitical Stability

When Samuel Huntington first hypothesized in 1993 that the coming challenges to geopolitical stability and security would be more cultural than ideological or economic, he received criticism from ideologues of both the left and the right. From the right, Fukuyama (58 et passim) had already explained that the West's victory in the Cold War and in the Gulf War represented the triumph of liberal democracy and the prospect of a stable civilization that yet provides members of that civilization with creative outlets. From the left, it was argued that civilizations need not clash if the West were more tolerant and respectful of non-Western cultures (Picco 28). One critic said that Western civilization might have something to fear from Islamic fundamentalism, were Islam not itself "fracture[d] into many pieces that cannot be reassembled" (Joffe 24). Another critic declared that Huntington was just talking about traditional power politics and giving it another name and that, besides, the forces of economic globalization, abetted by information technology, were fostering a homogenization, or convergence, of cultures, in both industrial and preindustrial cultures.

Looking at the portrait of world socioeconomic structures today, we notice substantial differences; but considering them in the context of the enormous range of possible structures that could have emerged, the homogeneity of modern industrial societies appears nothing less than astounding. And this process is accelerating under the influence of technology, science, and basic human desires (Mazarr 182).

Thus Huntington's critics in the early and mid-1990s. Those critics did not anticipate Islamic fundamentalist appropriation of Western technology for anti-Western Internet sites and large-scale skyscraper-razing exercises. Writing in mid-2002, in the wake of 9/11 and the demise of the Taliban regime (and preferring Fukuyama's thesis of the triumph of the West), Kurtz nevertheless m...

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Samuel Huntington's Theory of Geopolitical Stability. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:27, November 30, 2021, from