joi, 27 iunie 2013
THE CIVILISATION DIALOGUE IN THE GLOBALIZATION PROCESS: S.P. HUNTINGTON THEORY AFTER 20 YEARS
Assoc. Prof., PhD, Moldova State University, Chişinău, Republic of Moldova
Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
The globalization is the contemporary international context and is aimed at integration processes of world economy, cultural interactions etc. In 1993 Samuel P. Huntington published the article “The Clash of Civilizations?”, in which he presented the theory of multi-polar world, which was established after the Cold War. Underlying each of the nine civilizations Huntington set a religion (confession). The researcher noted possible conflicts between communities belonging to different civilizations. Therefore, in the new context the civilizational dialogue is vitally important, to ensure the international security. It can take various forms: meetings of leaders of churches, festivals, programs and media exchanges (“people to people”) etc. Twenty years after the publication of Huntington’s theory, the present day trend in international relations is to strengthen the international organizations to which countries from different civilizations belong. The Republic of Moldova, located by Huntington in the Slavic-Orthodox civilization, can integrate into Western civilization space.
Keywords: Globalization, Multipolar World Civilizations, Religion, Conflict, International Terrorism, Dialogue, EU, NATO, the Republic of Moldova.
THE GLOBALIZATION – THE CONTEMPORARY INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT
The globalization is a term denoting processes underway that are increasing, and that undoubtedly affect all the areas of human life and the overwhelming majority of world states that have the slightest openness to the international environment. From the point of view of the German authors Michael Kunczik and Astrid Zipfel, “The globalization is a term which has became fashionable when discussing the processes of the world economy, of cultural overlays etc. The interrelations and the interconnections in the world have become much more intense in recent years. The globalization is not just the expansion of trade between countries increasingly remote, but also a more intense division of labor inputs becoming more mobile (the international flow of capital, the increasing mobility of employees), but in particular the mobile capital. We develop a competitive production platforms of countries, a regional sites competition. Economic globalization means a development which brings the world economy closer to the theoretical ideal of a perfect, plenary market, ie a market where the competition is out of the narrow framework of national states “(Kunczik, Zipfel, 1998, 212). The German authors have also referred to the globalization of culture, insisting on developments in the media sector.
There are opinions according to which signs of globalization that can be glimpsed at hundreds of years ago: the Persian, the Macedonian and the Roman empires are looked upon as a framework of processes occurring on large territories, which led to the imposing rules and common practices for different people, the contacts (including the economic ones) and the cultural exchanges from which they got more intense. The visible difference is the fact that in those cases it was a political joint framework (of a state), while globalization now includes territory of the planet without the existence of a planet state (common political space). However, the term appeared in the late ‘60s and was released by the Canadian specialist in the theory of mass media, Marshall McLuhan and American expert” in communism problems” Zbigniew Brzezinski. Marshal McLuhan also released at the time the phrase “global village”. According to other authors, the globalization widened in the ‘70s, when oil-producing countries were united in OPEC and oil prices increased (from 1.90 to 28.76 dollars).
Personally I think that the process of globalization has coincided with the advent and widespread use of information technologies - the Internet. The term World Wide Web, abbreviated as WWW or and www, in short called web, which in English means “global network” and “network” was coined in 1989 at the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland. The initial proposal for the creation of a collection of documents with links between them was made by Tim Berners-Lee in March 1989. The proposal arose from communication problems the teams of researchers, who used the center, faced with, even using email. The first prototype of this collection (first in plain text format) appeared not long before December 1991, when the first public demonstration was made. The study was followed by the appearance of the first Mosaic graphical application in February 1993 conducted by researcher Marc Andreessen from the university centre National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) in Urbana-Champaign city of the federal state of Illinois, USA. Basically, the advent of the Internet and globalization, between which there is an inextricable link – coincided with the end of the Cold warfare, ie the collapse of the USSR.
SAMUEL P. HUNTINGTON’S MULTIPOLAR WORLD THEORY
This process has been endorsed by the American researcher Samuel P. Huntington in developing World Multipolar Theory in International Division. In 2013 we celebrate 20 years from publication in the journal “Foreign Affairs” of the article “The Clash of Civilazations” (“Clash of Civilizations?”) Signed by Samuel P. Huntington (1927 – 2008) (Huntington 1993, 22 – 49). In 1996 appeared in print volume Huntington’s “The Clash of Civilizations and the “Remaking of the World Order” (in Romanian translation appeared in 1997: “The Clash of Civilizations and Restoring World Order”) – this time without question mark at the end of the title (Huntington 1997). The article in 1993, was written as a response to Francis Fukuyama’s book, “The End of History and the Last Man” (1992), but, apparently, was also elaborated and under the impression of the war in the former Yugoslavia: Croatia (1991–1995) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992-1995). Huntington proposed a new vision of international relations in the post Cold War: he presented the transition from the bipolar world divided on the ideological-political criterion (two systems / blocks of countries – democratic / capitalist and totalitarian / communist or socialist) to a multipolar world, divided into eight civilizations, religious criterion. The eight civilizations, according to Huntington, are: Western, Confucian, Japanese, Islamic, Hindu, Slavic-Orthodox, Latin American and “possibly” African (Huntington 1993, 25). In his later published volume from Huntington’s presentation there results that he considers the existence of the new civilization: the Buddhist one (Huntington 1997, 67), even though he claims that “(...) the Buddhism, although a great religion was not the basis of a great civilization“ (Huntington 1997, 68).
Referring to several scientists before him, Huntington argues that “civilization” as well as “culture”, “refers both to the way of life,” “to values, rules, institutions, and ways of thinking” (Huntington, 1997, 58). At the foundation of thinking and the way of life of people belonging to different civilizations, according to Huntington, there are the religions (confessions). “Millennia of human history have shown that religion is not a” small difference “, but perhaps the most profound difference between people” (Huntington 1997, 378). That is why the American scholar concluded that “ the cultural dimension and the most dangerous of global politics emerging [in 1993 when his article was published in the journal ”Foreign Affairs“] will be the conflict between groups that belong to different civilizations “(Huntington, 1997, 11).
Huntington’s theory has sparked controversy; some scientists brought him criticism from the time of the publication in the journal (“Foreign Affairs”, 1993). However, his vision has been accepted as one of the theories by the specialist in International Relations. The essence of the American researcher’s vision aims at the fact that in the multipolar world, consisting of 8-9 civilizations, civilization conflicts can arise that will involve communities belonging to different civilizations. The collapse of the World Trade Centre towers in New York on September 11, 2001, confirmed, in a certain way Huntintington’s alarming forecasts. Although the international terrorism has became since then the main threat to international security, there has been no conflict / civilizational war yet with broad involvement of communities from different states of different civilizations. Al-Qaeda the terrorist organization that has claimed responsibility for attacks on 11.09.2001, is a non-state actor, clandestine, which does not represent the interests of the wide human communities from the states belonging to the Islamic civilization.
Another case that confirmed, to some extent, the forecast of Huntington’s theory was the publication on September 30/2005, as illustrations to an article in the Danish newspaper “Jullands Posten” the 12 cartoons, which represented the Prophet Muhammad. Since the representation of Mohammed is forbidden in Islam (the fact that the prophet was represented in those hilarious caricature pictures no longer counted on the background of the prohibition idolatry to Muslims), many Muslims in Denmark and other countries felt the publication of cartoons as a conscious challenge. Foreign Ministers of 11 Islamic states asked the Danish government to apologize for the publication, and some even closed their embassies in protest because they have not obtained the expected apology. After diplomatic protests followed the boycott on Danish goods. The Danish authorities, as well as the direction of the newspaper, explained that the drawings were part of the practical realization of freedom of speech. The cartoons accompanied an article on censorship and freedom of speech, which talked about the fact that no painter wanted to draw illustrations from a children’s book about Islam. In the riots that followed, there were attacks on Danish embassies in some Muslim countries (eg in Jakarta, Indonesia, Beirut, Lebanon etc.).
THE CIVILIZATION DIALOGUE IN THE CONTEMPORARY INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT
The concern for peace in the world, for international security, to prevent possible outbreaks of civilization conflicts, determined steps to be taken towards having a civilization dialogue. It must take place both at the governmental level (considering that civilizations are not political organizations, it is about intergovernmental connections among states belonging to different civilizations), and especially the civil societies of the world countries. Some types of civilization dialogue may be mentioned:
• Meetings of world religious leaders (following the pattern of ecumenical movement established within Christianity);
• Science conferences, of the international scientific community, devoted to the theme of the civilization dialogue.
• Various international festivals (music, theater, cinema etc.);
• Media programs, including On-line (Internet) about peoples’ cultures and religions world wide- both programs of some nations / states for others, as well as programs through which the representatives of a culture / civilization discover another culture / civilization; Exchange of experience (following the principle “people to people”) of various professional groups (eg, journalists, researchers etc.) or social (eg, students).
• Programs like “Work and Travel” (within which students from different countries of the world can go to work, for example in the U.S. during holidays);
All these (and others that I have not mentioned) can be considered as forms of the civilization dialogue. Former Supreme Pontiff, Benedict XVI, like his predecessor John Paul II promoted the idea of the civilization dialogue (Stanila 2006). Although the civilization dialogue activities are carried out in the world, their number and the number of people involved in them can be and should be higher.
A REVIEW OF S.P.HUNTINGTON’S THEORY AFTER TWENTY YEARS AFTER ITS ISSUE
The theory of multipolar world, by Samuel P. Huntington, fully contributed to stimulate more the concern for the civilization dialogue. However, today, 20 years after the publication of the article of the American researcher in the journal “Foreign Affairs” can a review of his theory can be undertaken, some critical approaches respectively:
Not all civilizations have a power center (“core state”), as it exists in the Western civilization, about which Huntington writes: “Historically, the West usually had several core states and now it has two cores, the United States and the Franco-German Europe, the UK being an additional center of power, at random, between the two “(Huntington 1997, 195). In the Slavo – Orthodox civilization: the Russian Federation, in the Sinic: China. For example, in the case of African civilization (sub-Saharian region) such core state (influent) is missing - even the author doubted about that civilization, writing: “The African civilization (possible)” (Huntington 1997, 67), as in cases of Latin-American, Buddhist or Islamic civilizations - Huntington writes about “The absence of a core Islamic state” (Huntington 1997, 261). Given the lack of a core state in a space civilization, it is difficult to talk about a civilization - that matters in the balance of power in world politics.
In line with the vision of American researcher, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania, as states with majority Orthodox populations belong to the Slavic-Orthodox civilization. Still, in 1981 Greece joined the European Communities, and in 2007 Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU, which showed that those states identify themselves more with the Western civilization space (without ceasing, however, to be Orthodox countries ).
Huntington was subjective and selective concerning the composition of a civilization - the number of states it is formed of. While he awarded a civilization-state status for Japan, no other state has ever been considered worthy of such a double situation (Japan being, according to the author, the only state-civilization).
It seems subjective too sharing the Christian world, on terms of the type of confession, into two civilizations - Western (Catholic and Protestant) and Slavic-Orthodox, in the latter case a generic name being used for a group of nations (slav peoples). However, in the case of the Islamic civilization Huntington makes no distinction between the Sunni and the Shia, knowing that between Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia and Indonesia are substantial differences, both religious and ethnic.
The division of the states from the Western Hemisphere of the Western civilization (USA and Canada) and Latin American seems to be based too on rather ethnic criteria (not to say racial).
Twenty years after the publication of Samuel P. Huntington’s article, we can consider that the vision was of particular importance in the academic world. I think his theory reflected the mood at the end of the Cold War - when after the crash communist system of ideas in the former socialist countries the peoples of those states resorted to trying to find new landmarks values, religious values, civilization respectively: “In the ‘90s, a global crisis of identity broke out. Everywhere you looked, people were asking “who are we?”, “Who do we belong to?” and “who is not like us? ‘” (Huntington 1997, 180). I believe that in these 20 years, the process of globalization, the world has evolved into a global system, which, however, currently is not based on religiosity, but to ensure the economic and the security concern. We can say that the evolution of the international system, during the last historical period it can be represented as follows:
1815 – 1945: multipolar system with empires as international actors (it was based on the economics and the ensurence of security, by dividing spheres of influence in the world);
1945 – 1991: bipolar system (the Cold War was based on ideological-political criterion);
1991 – present: multipolar system (according to Huntington, it is based on religion / confession).
I believe that in the modern period, in the XXI century, a multipolar international system is reinforced based on economics and the concern for safety. So, now we notice that some of the characteristics from the period 1812-1945 is manifest again except that now they act not as notorious international acting empires, but as nation states strongly developed (G7 would be a list of them, to which he added Russia).
Currently there are examples of integration in common economic and security areas, which includes countries belonging to various religions / confessions. For example, in the Customs Union of the future Eurasian Union includes both Russia and Belarus with Orthodox majority population and Kazakhstan, with main Muslim population in full with demographic growth. Orthodox Greece, Romania and Bulgaria were integrated into the EU and NATO – together with the states Huntington cosidered as lawfully belonging to Western civilization. As a matter of fact, NATO includes so far Turkey, which Huntington has included it in the Islamic civilization, countries of the Western civilization and the three Orthodox countries (Greece, Bulgaria and Romania) that Huntington incuded in the Slavo-Orthodox civilization. Advanced integration processes between the U.S., Canada and Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement (North American Free Trade Agreement - NAFTA), signed on December 17, 1992, are another example of economic cooperation that prevails over any differences of religion / civilization. In an increasingly secularized world, the economic factor and the security become prevailing in relation to religious factors (civilization) and the ideological (taking into account that the old socialist world camp four states with the communist state ideology have left: China, North Korea, Cuba and Vietnam). Thanks to its booming economy, communist China is an economic partner, and therefore - and politically important for the U.S., Japan or Russia.
Samuel P. Huntington was aware of the importance of the economic and the security factors: “Will the political and economic alignments always coincide with those based on culture and civilization? Of course not. Balance of power considerations will sometimes lead to cross-civilization alliances (...) “(Huntington 1997, 183). However, Huntington believes: “However, it is possible that these patterns become weaker, less significant and adapting less to serve the goals of the new era” (Huntington 1997, 183). Referring to multicivilization organizations, Huntington wrote: “Internationa Multicivilization Organizations, such as ASEAN, could face an increasing difficulty in maintaining consistency” (Huntington 1997, 183). Huntington showed that ASEAN, established in 1967, includes “a Sinic state, Buddhist one, a Christian one and two Muslim states” (Huntington 1997, 189). In our case, we believe that “cross-civilization alliances”, ie they belong to member organizations from different cultures (religions / confesions) reinforce themselves and represent the key international actors in contemporary international multipolar system, which in fact, is not a system of civilizations, but one of security and economic organizations. Although the civilization factor (religious / confessional) should not be ignored either now or in the future.
An example of the trends in the contemporary world is the Orthodox states of the Balkans: Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia - although Orthodox countries are clearly oriented towards EU integration and NATO, where they see the the economic intetrets and security assurance fulfilled, without special relations with the Russian Federation – the pillar of Slavic-Orthodox civilization.
Therefore, recognizing the value of Huntington’s theory, which emphasized the cultural diversity of the peoples of the world, united in civilizatios by religion (ie, the confessions of a religion) and stressed the importance of civilization identity, we can say that the trend in the contemporary world to set up a global system consists of unions of states based on the economic principle (common economic interests), but also of security (collective). From this point of view, despite the fact that it was placed in the Slavic-Orthodox civilization, Moldova can become a member of EU and NATO, to the extent that can help strengthen the security on the south-eastern border of the EU and NATO, and to the extent that it is economically interesting (of its internal market and its products) for European Community organization.
THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA FROM THE CIVILIZATION PERSPECTIVE
In light of Huntington’s theory, the Republic of Moldova belongs to the Slavic-Orthodox civilization. Maybe, this was why Huntington referred to Moldova only three places in his book. In one paragraph the author made reference to the situation (conflict) in eastern part of Moldova: “After Moldova became independent, with the fall of the Soviet Union, many thought about an eventual union with Romania. The fear that something like that might happen the secessionist movement from the unified East of the republic was stimulated, which had the tacit support of Moscow and the active Russian 14th Army, which led to the creation of a Transnistrian Republic. However, the Moldavian union feeling with Romania started to decline as a sequence of the economic problems of both countries and the Russian economic pressure. Moldova has joined C.S.I. and trade ties with Russia expanded. In February 1994, the pro-Russian parties had an overwhelming success in the parliamentary elections “[Huntington 1997, 241].
So, the war from March 2 to July 21 1992 in the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova was almost overlooked by the researcher, compared to that in Bosnia and Herzegovina, probably because he had seen it as an intracivilization one. Huntington explicitly wrote: “At the same time, the former Soviet Union, the Orthodox Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine revolve around Russia (...)” (Huntington 1997, 182). In another place, the American researcher wrote: “The successor of the Tzarist and Communist empires is a civilization bloc, similar in many respects to that of Western Europe. In the nucleus, Russia, the equivalent of France and Germany, is closely linked to an inner circle that includes two republics, mostly Orthodox – Belarus and Moldova – Kazakhstan, whose population is 40% Muslim, and Armenia, a historic ally of Russia “(Huntington, 1997, 239-240).
However, Moldova is part Huntingtonian concept of “torn state”. “Torn countries can be identified by two phenomena. Their leaders refer to them as a “bridge” between two cultures and the observers describe them as Janus “(Huntington 1997, 201). Although the author relies on the examples of Turkey, Mexico, Australia, Ukraine etc., the Republic of Moldova, which Huntington clearly saw as part of a Slavic-Orthodox civilization, fits quite well the described concept in question. The literature in the field of International Relations of writes in connection with the Republic of Moldova about a civilization dilemma West – East (or West – Russia).
We believe, however, that some details of the hot phase of the conflict reveal something of great significance: the membership of the Republic of Moldova to the Western civilization space. It is known that the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as that in Chechnya, were to some extent civilization conflicts too, taking into account that there came Muslim fighters from other countries (some of them became leaders of rebel commandos – eg Hatab, a native of Jordan, who fought in Chechnya). The same happened in Bosnia. An intercivilization conflict involves fighters from several states, united by the same religion, which fight against the believers of another religion in a territorial conflict.
In the 1992 war, in the Transnistrian region of Moldova, as it is known that Cossack groups and mercenaries from Russia and Ukraine took part. The fact that this was possible, demonstrate that Moldova does not belong to the same civilization space as Russia (despite the common religion – Orthodox Christian). In the context of Huntington’s theory – without diminishing the value of his vision – we can say that the example of Moldova – the Russian – Moldovan since 1992 – is the exception that confirms the validity of that theory, however. The fact that the conflict led to participation of Cossacks and Russian mercenaries - alongside the regular army (the 14th) Russian - clearly shows that Moldova is currently confronted with a geopolitical dilemma: West- East. In the light of this fact, we can say that Moldova rightfully belongs to the Western civilization. The arguments in this respect are, of course, many more than that.
This is why the war in Eastern Moldova an intracivilization not one, but is part of the concept of “fault line wars” (Huntington 1997, 337), that is, it was a rupture war zone that separated the Western civilization and the Slavo-Orthodox. Huntington believes that “the frequency, the intensity and violence of fault line wars are far greater due to beliefs in different gods” (Huntington 1997, 378). The paradox of conflict in the Transnistrian region of Moldova is that the majority of the population of the two conflicting parties - the Republic of Moldova and the Russian Federation – do not only belong to the same religious confession (Orthodox Christian), but even to the same Church – Russian Orthodox. However, the Russian-Moldavian conflict on the Nistru is an exception, although, it is part of the concept of “fault line wars”, so the dilemma East – West, for the Republic of Moldova, is a false one. The Moldavian state has no other option than the Western one, the massive participation of Russian Cossacks in the 1992 war clearly demonstrates that both political factors that have stimulated and supported paramilitary movements in Eastern Moldova and a part of the Russian society from where those paramilitaries were recruited considered the Moldavian people an enemy – belonging to another civilization, namely the Western one.
I think the value system of the Western civilization resulted in the four pillars – “embodied by NATO defense and security; shared confidence in the rule of law and parliamentary democracy, liberal capitalism and free trade”, “common European cultural heritage, emerging from Greece and Rome through Renaissance “(Huntington 1997, 457) – is an ideal which the Republic of Moldova assumed, although still it faces issues related to the rule of law (both the political leadership and in terms of functioning of the system of justice), corruption etc. But to the extent that the Western values will be made aware by the political parties and the Moldavian society, the Republic of Moldova will strengthen its status politically, economically and in ensuring security. The civilization space that can be the only beneficial framework for achieving these goals is the Western one. At the same time, the people of the Republic of Moldova must preserve its Orthodox Christian values shared by the majority of the citizens of the country.
1. Kunczik, Michael, Zipfel, Astrid (1998) Introducere în stiinta publicisticiisi a comunicării, Cluj: Editura Presa universitară Clujeană.
2. Huntington, Samuel P. (1993) “The Clash of Civilazations?” in Foreign Affairs: Volume 72, No.3/1993: 22‑49.
3. Huntington, Samuel P. (1997) Ciocnirea civilizatiilor si refacerea ordinii mondiale. Bucuretti: Antet.4. Stanila, Claudia (2006) “Papa invocă necesitatea vitală a dialogului dintre crestini si musulmani”, pe Creștin Ortodox.ro. http://www.crestinortodox.ro/stiri/ziua/papa-invoca-necesitatea-vitala-dialogului-dintre-crestini-musulmani-78980.html (6 martie 2013).
„THE CIVILISATION DIALOGUE IN THE GLOBALIZATION PROCESS: S.P. HUNTINGTON THEORY AFTER 20 YEARS”, by Aurelian LAVRIC, in „International Journal of COMMUNICATION RESEARCH”, Iași, Vol. 3, Issue 2 / 2013, p. 179 - 185:
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