Civilizations and World Order
This timely and original volume fills the gaps in the existing theoretical and philosophical literature on international relations by problematizing civilization as a new unit of research in global politics. It interrogates to what extent and in what ways civilization is becoming a strategic frame of reference in the current world order.
The book complements and advances the existing field of study previously dominated by other approaches – economic, national, class-based, racial, and colonial – and tests its key philosophical suppositions against countries that exhibit civilizational ambitions. The authors are all leading international scholars in the fields of political theory, IR, cultural analysis, and area studies who deal with various aspects of the civilizational arena.
Offering key chapters on ideology, multipolarity, modernity, liberal democracy, and capitalism, this book extends the existing methodological, theoretical, and empirical debates for IR and area studies scholars globally. It will be of great interest to politicians, public opinion makers, and all those concerned with the evolution of world affairs.
This chapter discusses the civilizations in the context of contemporary structural realities of a multipolar world in which two opposite trends are at work at the same time. In view of everything said in the earlier sections of this chapter, civilizations can be suitable components for a world that is materially global but lacks ideational universality. The phenomenon that had become known as globalization by the end of the twentieth century – after decades of discussions about growing global interdependence and its new nature – can be regarded in a broader context as an amalgamation of two process that were unfolding in an interdependent manner over the previous two or three centuries. A materially globalized but ideationally non-universal world – a world that has only ceased to aspire to universality but is actually moving in the opposite direction – has become the contemporary structural reality, with an inherent contradiction at its heart.