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Civilisation and Conflict (Essay Sample)

Critically assess Samuel Huntington's argument that future conflict will occur along cultural lines or those of 'civilisation' rather than the political/ideological nature of conflict associated with the cold war. source..
Civilisation and Conflict
Conflict has changed since the early days where clashes were observed between the kings and various kingdoms. In the world today three major sources of conflict are identified, the cultural, socio-psychological and material conflict. Therefore, the essential goods that are at stake are vales, the status and the scarce resources. Rather, the cultural conflict will emerge from clash in the values, socio-psychological from a clash in the status and material conflict from the struggle of the resources (Smuts 2010, P. 45).
The end of the Cold War led Americans to focus more on international relations. Additionally, the collapse of the Soviet Union crushed many of the fundamental assumptions many Americans had on the way the world works and initiated a far- reaching debate that is still ongoing to date. Marxists ideas for instance passed in China and Soviet Union without a remarkable incorporation in the country’s working systems, translating to the death of an ideology of world historical significance (Smuts 2010, P. 49). The death of an ideology means the growth of a common marketisation of international relations and further the likelihood of a bigger conflict than previously witnessed in the cold war between various states (Fukuyama 1989, P. 31).
Further, the adoption of a common ideology, such as that of free trade, does not translate to an end of international conflict, but a more larger-scale conflict involving larger states (Fukuyama 1989, P. 33). Various scholars argue that the period represents very sad time in history as various states struggle for recognition and the willingness to risk their resources for the achievement of a single goal, the worldwide recognition of an ideology that calls for courage, imagination and idealism. The period will be characterized with environmental concerns, solving of many technical problems and the satisfaction of many consumer demands (Fukuyama 1989, P. 34). As noted by Nye (1990), the mix of resources that produce international power is slowly shifting. What many people regarded as the cycle of supremacy conflict will not repeat its self as the United States is said to retain more traditional hard power resources than any other country in the continent (Nye 1990, P.57). Additionally, the country has the soft ideological and institutional resources to retain its leading place in the new domains of transnational interdependence.
Thus, the problem for U.S. power in the 21st century will not be new challenges for supremacy but rather the new challenges of transnational interdependence. The critical issue is whether the United States will have the political leadership and strategic vision to convert its power resources into real influence in a transitional period of world politics. The implications for stability in the nuclear era are enormous. A strategy needs to be developed that will oversee the...
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