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Samuel Huntington

Samuel Huntington's thesis that future geopolitical instability and insecurity would be more cultural than ideological or economic was met with derision when it appeared in 1993. From the right, Fukuyama (58 et passim) made the case that the West's Cold War victory was permanent. From the left, it was said that the West had only itself to blame for future conflict (Picco 28). Islamic fundamentalism was not the fault line of the future (Huntington 33) but a fragmentary nonthreat "that cannot be reassembled" (Joffe 24). Another critic accused Huntington of just calling traditional power politics by a different name. Besides, or so the reasoning went, economic globalization meant convergence, not clash (Kurtz). But by mid-2002, with the Taliban on the run, Stanley Kurtz noted: "This is Samuel P. Huntington's moment" (Kurtz).

Huntington's moment belongs to geopolitical discourse in the wake of 9/11, but the world-historical moment, as the years since 9/11 have demonstrated, belongs to the culture of Islamist militias. Contemporary militant Islam is not a political or religious singularity, and its narrative is an evolving one. However, in its various organizational configurations around the world--al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Jamaah Islam (Jemaiah Islamiyah), etc.--it has proven to be far more cohesive than fractured. Its number of highly motivated adherents is growing, not weakening, and they have been undeniably effective in altering political discourse and behavior by way of what they commonly refer to as jihad. Jihad, indeed, has commanded widespread attention since 9/11. Thus one writer refers to the ideology of global jihad (Elegant 35) and another to the anti-Western global jihad mind-set (Ramakrishna 175).

Such references reflect the post-9/11 realization that the jihad agenda is global and diffuse, routinely exploiting nation-state conflicts for its own purposes and crossing borders to effect its goals. In the wake of 9/11, radical ...

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Samuel Huntington. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 09:22, August 14, 2020, from