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The Revenge of Geopolitics: The Space as a Metaphor of Fear in the Clash of Civilizations

by Patricia Chiantera-Stutte

pp. 100-118 Issue 7 (4,1) – January-June 2017 ISSN (online): 2539/2239 ISSN (print): 2389-8232 DOI: 1017450/170106


One of the works that forged the Western geopolitical imagination was The Clash of Civilizations by Samuel P. Huntington. This book, which has been dealt with primarily as a political, sociological work, is imbued by schemes and categories coming from the geographical and geopolitical. My contribution shows that Huntington’s geopolitical approach, that enjoyed a huge success in the world, has an origin in USA imperialism and that it has a much stronger impact than usually noticed. Here I will argue that the Clash of civilizations thesis is based on a conscious blindness with regard to the nature of contemporary societies and by a strong internal contradiction between its description of the world market and its interpretation of culture. These blind spots reveal the main focus of Huntington’s approach: the celebration of homogeneity inside each civilization – and in particular the protection of the West against any de-westernization. My contribution’s aim is therefore: firstly, to show that his geopolitical model comes from a solid tradition in the American hegemonic history; secondly, that its main target is to recreate a stable internal order and homogeneity inside the western civilization, and finally that the growing recent use of this paradigm can lead to increasing tensions between groups and individuals.


hegemony, Geopolitics, civilizations, imperialism, multicultural society
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