Ukraine war shows it’s time to do away with the racist ‘Clash of Civilizations’ theory

By Katherine Bullock

“The clash of civilizations,” wrote the late American political scientist Samuel Huntington in a famous 1993 article, “will dominate global politics.” He predicted: “The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future.” Picked apart by critics for conceptual and empirical errors, the tragedy of 9/11 breathed new life into his theory of international relations. Huntington was regarded as prophetic.

His vision of an “Islam with bloody borders” that would confront the West, fuelled by Muslim extremists, put wind in the sails of the so-called War on Terror, turning western Muslims into suspects, not citizens, and transforming them into societal outcasts. But Huntington also predicted: “If civilization is what counts … the likelihood of violence between Ukrainians and Russians should be low. They are two Slavic, primarily Orthodox peoples who have had close relationships with each other for centuries.”

Now that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has proved him spectacularly wrong, it’s time to throw out his whole outlook, which has traumatized Muslims the world over…

Alfred McCoy – The Geopolitics of the Ukraine War: Putin and Xi Jinping in the Struggle over Eurasia