Clash of Civilizations 2.0
The idea (most famously articulated in Samuel Huntington's Foreign Affairs article) that the world is confronting a “clash of civilizations” may be the most influential concept in contemporary international relations: an idea reviled and lambasted by some, implicitly or explicitly embraced by others. The Berkley Center hosted a weekend seminar to explore where these ideas came from, their impact on policymakers and public imagination, and their relevance today.
The course was a pilot for a proposed new series of short courses aimed at policymakers, senior faculty, and analysts. The goal was an interactive, probing exchange among a diverse group that ideally formulates action ideas and fresh insights. Discussion went beneath the surface, looking both at the currents that shaped thinking 22 years ago and their significance for understanding recent history, and at the implications of contemporary realities, including the force of extremist, religiously colored ideologies.