Analysis of two opposing ideas by Fukuyama and Huntington
The End of History by Francis Fukuyama (1989) and Clash of civilisation are two opposing but very gripping views to understand global political trends.
This article and book ‘ end of history ‘was written by a Japanese American scholar Francis Fukuyama, in 1989, . after the end of cold war. Fukuyama claimed the victory of western liberal democracy over other ideas. Writer fancied that liberal democracy is best and final form of ideological evolution.
He enforced his view point that Disintegration of Soviet Union has proved the success of liberal democracy over fascism, Nazism, authoritarianism and communism.
In response to end of history Samuel P. Huntington, a Jewish American scholar, wrote “Clash of civilization and the re-making to world order”.
The author believed that in the new world differences among civilizations and cultures would become the major source of violence in the post cold war period . He mentioned in his article that,
“The fault lines between civilizations will be the reasons of war in future.”
Till the end of WWI conflicts were between people or nations, after that, as witnessed in the cold war, clashes between ideologies started, and ending with the victory of one ideology. Till the cold war, major conflicts were among the Western states. After the cold war, however, the sphere of world politics expanded, including the Non-Western states as actors and shapers of history rather than being the objects. West and East are visibly confronting each other in trade domination, geo-politics and security.
Fukuyama’s idea was an extension of Hegel thoughts, who was believer of idea that the history would reach its highest point when the rational form of states would become victorious. Karl Marx’s views that the world history would end with a communist utopia.
Hegel and Fukuyama both reinforce each other’s view point. Hegel believed that every material thing is influenced by an idea. He speaks of man as a product of historical and social processes. Two events influenced Hegel thought. The first was French Revolution which brought up the principles of Equality, Liberty and Fraternity . Second was the Battle of Jena in 1806, which Napoleon won against the Prussian monarchy endorsing the principles of French Revolution.
Paul Kennedy’s “Rise and Fall of Great Nations” which also explains the rationale governments.
Max Weber proponent of liberal democratic ideals believed that China will automatically adopt liberal democratic values because, it cannot remain unaffected by the liberal powers around the world.
nationalism and religion two threats to the liberal democracy. This prediction has come so true that it became a dominant approach during last two decades and has eroded the globalisation.
Huntington operationalizes the concept of civilization as the highest form of cultural identity, which he argues will become an important lens in analyzing political conflict following the end of the Cold War.
Author mentioned seven civilizations of the contemporary world. These include Western, Confucian, Japanese, Islamic, Hindu, Slavic-Orthodox, Latin American and African. Writer believes that clashes among these civilizations may occur due to deep rooted differences among civilizations and these differences are a product of centuries and they will not disappear.
The world is becoming a smaller place, nation to nation interaction is at rise thus making the differences more conspicuous. Unrest in recent years in US and few other western,about use of Scraf, Burqa,eating hilal are few examples to quote.
The process of economic modernization and social changes is weakening the
Global peace has been challenged by rise of Asian states, which are integrating and trying to emerge as a counter power to US. This fundamentally has challenged global peace.
The clashes that may emerge as a result of these reasons can be of two levels. Micro level where civilizations may fight for territory and at Macro level where the goals are of broader perspectives, dominating international institutes, promoting their cultures and values etc.
Fault lines between civilizations are the beliefs and ideas of one civilization that are in contrast with the other civilizations and are emerging a reason of future conflict or violence. The author mentioned two civilizations whose fault lines can emerge as a major threat to others. One is orthodox and other is Islam.
Huntington believes that at the end there will be no universal civilization but a homogenous mixture of civilizations each of which have to learn to co-exist with other without causing problems for others.
The perspective that there will be conflict predicated on cultural or civilizational divides was not universal and contrasts with the work of Fukuyama, who argued that human civilization was heading toward universal democratization. The process of democratization has long been a focus within political science, particularly the comparative politics subfield, and a lot of research has been focused on how and why states democratize. Whereas Fukuyama saw a reason for optimism, Huntington’s theory, building on the literature examining political culture, approached from a pessimistic position and the perspective that not only are some civilizations not suited to the development of democracy, but that conflict would develop in the world between ”the West vs. the rest”.
( Help has been taken from essay of Dr Zulqarnain’s Phd course work class of 2018)