Globalization: a trigger of civilizational clash
Review of the main problems of the world community. Consideration of competition between the West and the East from different sides, as realities and prospects and from a pragmatic point of view, based on energy balance, bipolar and multipolar theories.
|Рубрика||Международные отношения и мировая экономика|
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Globalization: a trigger of civilizational clash
PhD student of the International Relations and Economics faculty of Baku State University (Azerbaijan, Baku), email@example.com
Nowadays clash of civilizations, globalization and obstacles that it begets are among the main concerns of the world community. In fact there is dilemma in both cases: clash or dialogue of civilizations and pre-globalists or anti-globalists. And each of them has justified reasons. Herein the above mentioned matters are reviewed from different respective sides, realities and perspectives. Today's rivalry between West and East (ideological rivals during Cold War, and civilizational rivals after 11.09.01) is on pragmatic view, while basing on Power balance, Bipolar and Multi- polar theories.
Keywords: globalization dilemma, civilizations: dialogue and clash, cultural diversity, economic and political interests.
Мамедова Т., докторант кафедри дипломатії і сучасних інтеграційних процесів, Бакинський державний університет (Азербайджан, Баку), firstname.lastname@example.org. az Глобалізація: початок цивілізаційних зіткнень?
В даний час зіткнення цивілізацій, глобалізація і перешкоди, які породжують есе це, є одними з основних проблем світового співтовариства. Насправді в обох випадках існує дилема: конфлікт чи діалог цивілізацій, глобалісти або антиглобалісти. І кожен з них прагне виправдати себе. Вищезазначені питання розглядаються з різних відповідних сторін, такі, як реалії та перспективи. Сьогодні конкуренція між Заходом і Сходом (ідеологічні суперники в часи холодної війни, і цивілізаційні конкуренти після 11 вересня 2001) розглядається з прагматичної точки зору, ґрунтуючись на енергобалансі, біполярних і багатополярним теоріях.
Ключові слова: глобалізаційна дилема, цивілізація, діалог і зіткнення, культурне розмаїття, економічні та політичні інтереси.
(стаття друкується мовою оригіналу)
Мамедова Т., докторант кафедры дипломатии и современных интеграционных процессов, Бакинский государственный университет (Азербайджан, Баку), email@example.com
Глобализация: начало цивилизационных столкновений?
В настоящее время столкновения цивилизаций, глобализация и препятствия, порождающие все это, являются одними из основных проблем мирового сообщества. На самом деле в обоих случаях существует дилемма: конфликт или диалог цивилизаций, глобалисты или антиглобалисты. И каждый из них стремится оправдать себя. Вышеупомянутые вопросы рассматриваются с разных соответствующих сторон, такие, как реалии и перспективы. Сегодня конкуренция между Западом и Востоком (идеологические соперники во времена холодной войны, и цивилизационные конкуренты после 11 сентября 2001 года) рассматривается с прагматической точки зрения, основываясь на энергобалансе, биполярных и многополярных теориях.
Ключевые слова: глобализационная дилемма, цивилизации: диалог и столкновение, культурное разнообразие, экономические и политические интересы
competition pragmatic world west
Globalization can be analyzed not only asan economic term, but al so social one. Thanks to the globalized information and communication structures, a large number of states, civilizational entities are increasingly becoming aware of one another. More rapidly nations are learning about new inventions, tendencies, more and more is becoming mixture of different ethnics, inter/mixed-marriages: interracial or interreligious marriages, youth of different nations are becoming more common or at least similar. And most of times this is the main concern of those who see this changes as a challenge to preservation of their own traditions, mentality, values and historical roots. With the globalization of markets and information networks, consumption patterns, facilitated by modern transports and communication technologies mass culture is becoming more and more uniform over the world.
Respectively, by the huge flow of migrants it got complex to preserve elements of their native culture while adjusting to life in their new living environment which sometimes is called “cultural shock”. Herein is tried to support “globalization” in favor of unique interests, achievements while preserving your own historical roots, culture and values (Japan, China, Asian Tigers), and showing tolerance, respect to other societies in multicultural areas. Goal of globalization is not/should not be to make one's opinion or viewpoint prevail over another, or reach a consensus in the cost of concession your values. Political and cultural expansionism should be differed from globalization.
Obviously it is a mostly expressed view that the “West”, led by the United States, is creating a new enemy stereotype after the demise of communism as the main rival of capitalism in the form of so-called liberal democracy. The ideological “other” is supposedly being replaced by the ethnic and cultural “other.”
The associated terms and/or slogans of “liberal democracy”, “free market economy”, etc. all relate to the unrivalled rule of interest groups in the name of democracy. This kind of universal claim, that connects globalization with very specific economic interests, has caused serious concern among those who are the “receiving sides” in this globalization. As the Egyptian Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosni stated: “The issue of globalization has imposed itself on the dialogue between cultures and reflects the beliefs, aspirations and culture of one party that always acted as the exporter of cultural trends, political ideologies and economic problems ...” 
According to common opinion of the anti-globalists, “globalization” indicates the intention of ideological and cultural “imperialism” of the West. The second term that is frequently used besides “globalization” is “cultural clash”, what is the determining factor of international relations from the end of the 20th century. Expansion of information, cultures, values, economic interests- with a single term: globalization- reared up “cultural clash”. So beneath the surface of this concept of politics one can obviously discover the notion of the “national interest”.
But not always this term is accepted as a pretext, rather than as a self-fulfillment. So the main concern should be “how can conflict of “diversities” be avoided and how can the “clash of civilizations” be prevented from becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy?” this is the main challenge of modern international order for peaceful coexistence.
Vital is that, each civilization should accept, for itself, the basic fact of other civilizations existence with all their different value systems, beliefs, social habits, etc. This “fact of diversity” should be internalized by each civilization and should not be seen as a threat, but as a chance for further developing and enriching the identity and awareness of one's own civilization. As a result of the socio-economic and political facts of globalism, existence of a variety of civilizational and cultural communities and their interdependence is becoming increasingly obvious. There is simply no alternative rather than “acceptance” for peaceful co-existence among civilizations. The principle of equality and mutual respect is indispensable. In other case the only alternative will be “clash” - or war - of civilizations, which was predicted by Huntington , and this will bring to destruction of one side, let it be ethnic, religious group or national heritage. An interesting point is that, co-existence should also be seen as basic norm for the very preservation of own culture, values and heritage in peace in the context of globalization.
First and essential step towards the mutual acceptance can be development of a comprehensive philosophical framework and of a positive social attitude towards a genuine dialogue among civilizations. The relationship between civilizational awareness on the one hand - accepting the existence of the other as basic precondition for one's own identity and the complex interaction with other civilizations on the level of equality on the other hand has become ever more important since the tragic events of September 11, 2001 in the United States of America. One may state without exaggeration that dialogue on the level of civilizations has become indispensable for the preservation of peace on a global scale. Unfortunately, the recent developments have been exploited for the sake of a “cultural crusade” against Islam and for the creation of a new geostrategic design according to which the West and its dominating power, the United States, has the right, even duty, to “pacify” the Muslim world according to Western standards of humanity and secularism .
Civilizational awareness and the search for one's identity must not be seen in the narrow context of self-assertion. In fact every society reflects multiplicity of traditions and cultures. In this respect all societies differ in some means, but on the other hand they have so much similar; primarily, their will for better and prosperous World, what can be unique goal for all humankind. The term “civilization” is worth to be referred as a cultural, historical, ethnical and geographical diversity of particular place, nationality, rather than a dominant power. Because dominant power should/can be single as the word dominant means this.
One should try to avoid belonging of term “civilization” only to religious diversity, as within any particular religion there are different nationalities, cultures, mentalities, traditions, values and so on. Civilization is an abstract society/entity which includes individuals whose way of thinking, attitude forms by events he bears, lives, meets, and his ethnic, national, cultural, religious belonging, society he is surrounded by. Other kinds of assumption of one's “identity”, an arrogant attitude would inevitably lead to the creation and/or strengthening of social stereotypes. The self-comprehension of a civilization and the appreciation of its values have to rear respect to other cultures and values as well. An ideology of respect, tolerance and acceptance should be inculcated for youth in an inter-civilizational framework of mutual exchange. Civilizations that aspire to be present in the global framework of today have to accept the fact of interdependence.
The globe we live in is an alive mechanism where all aspects are in harmony. In such harmony or interdependence of all geographical regions and all aspects of social life at the same time, globalization is a must as a fact of international relations. This reality existed always, but it has mainly become possible due to the end of the East-West conflict, i.e. the collapse of the bipolar order that divided the world along ideological lines and military alliances. And the driving force behind this reality is “economic competition without borders”. Along with the rapid development of science, technology, spread of information through hi-techs, improvement of communication technology, widely spread of internet facilitated the increase of the speed of globalization. It can not be denied, however, that this dynamic process of economic interaction has been accompanied by a tendency towards cultural uniformity - whether in regard to language, “lifestyle”, or social habits in general.
In fact as a social phenomenon “globalization” is not entirely new. Trends towards globalization existed in previous centuries in relation to the colonial and imperial powers' efforts. If at first it was obvious in cultural area, by time the discovery and exploration of new lands, intention of acquire new markets and opening them up for international trade, begot globalization more enormously.
In terms of quantity and intensity, however, the globalization of the 20th/21st centuries is a new phenomenon. In its Global Agenda for Dialogue among Civilizations, the United Nations General Assembly apparently tried to stem the tide of uniformization which is inherent in the economic dynamic of globalization. In the resolution adopted on 9 November 2001, the UN member states described the fact that globalization brings “greater interrelatedness among people and increased interaction among cultures and civilizations”, but they also identified the threat of uniformity faced by the world's cultural and civilizational traditions, emphasizing that “globalization is not only an economic, financial and technological process which could offer great benefit but it also presents the challenge of preserving and celebrating the rich intellectual and cultural diversity of humankind and of civilization” .
The unique nature of globalization is expressed in the fact that peoples belonging to different cultural and/or civilizational traditions, strive to interact with others at the global stage while at the same time trying to preserve their national, ethnic, cultural, and civilizational identity. On the one hand, globalization, out of economic necessity - that is determined by “competition without borders”, brings about a basic open-mindedness and “businesslike” attitude towards different languages, value systems and lifestyles that may encourage tolerance towards other civilizational expressions. On the other hand, the dynamic of globalization generates a somewhat antagonistic tendency towards uniformity. The danger associated with this overall trend, one of the most debated characteristics of globalization. Thus, process of globalization without dialogue may increase the probability of intention to dominate.
As the economic, cultural, social sides of globalization, we also have to talk about the political side of it. The political reality at the global level more and more mirrors the uniformity tendency of globalization: since the end of the Cold War, the international system has been characterized by the absence of a balance of power. Unipolarity has replaced the bipolarity of the post-World War II era. This political uni-polarity may have been reinforced by the dynamic of globalization. The uni-polarity at the political level begot the cultural and civilizational multipolarity as well. Talking about power balance of the second half of XX century, we can say that global bipolarity prevailed during Cold War and was characterized by a “clash of ideologies”, between capitalism and socialism. Cold War was accompanied by regional conflicts and these were, in most cases, conducted as proxy wars in the context of superpower rivalry. The two competing powers avoided an open confrontation by holding each other in check, with mutual deterrence preventing war between the two rival powers, indeed averting another world war.
The antagonistic shape of the bipolar era has not totally disappeared in the uni-polar system of the present time; the clash of ideologies has been replaced, at least in the perception of influential sectors of the international public, by one among civilizations. The problem, in regard to global order, lies in whether, and to what extent, perception creates reality, i.e. a perceived clash among civilizations becomes something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The crucial question as to the future world order will be how this dynamic, i.e. interdependent, relationship between perception and reality will unfold. The more frequently use of Huntington's notion of the “clash of civilizations”, its innumerable invocations since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, are vivid proof of this connection. After known 9/11 events, a modern de-javu of Crusaids is likely being lived. Just in more political and diplomatic shape.
The political uni-polarity of the present global system may reinforce, in certain cases even create, civilizational antagonisms that might otherwise have been subdued by ideological rivalries between two or more competitors for global power. The political and military actions that are being justified (by the actors) or explained (by the observers) by reference to Huntington's notion, may make of the perceived clash of civilizations a transnational reality. A major example of the overall political impact of this interdependence - with most serious implications for global peace - is the state of relations between the Muslim world and the West.
The perception of a threat may be calculated as being necessary for mobilizing the public in favor of a certain political agenda advancing the country's national interest vis-a-vis its neighbors and/or the rest of the world; this agenda may also include the use of military force. The latter will have to be justified as measure of legitimate selfdefense in order to become acceptable in the eyes of the domestic as well as international public. In this context, the notion of the “clash of civilizations” may be part of a rationalization of otherwise undeclared interests. Herein the role of mass media, publication materials and communication technologies in propaganda should also be stated.
Selective dissemination and interpretation of facts can lead to intentional misleading of people. I do remember a question of a student during my study period abroad in Europe: “In what country do Muslims live?” or it is really offensive to see some anxiety, worry even fear in the eyes of some people due to fore-part's belief and religion. As Z.Karabel states in his book “Westerns, weather or not they adhere to an organized religion, are disposed to view Muslim societies as backward and intend on war and violence. And most inhabitants of the Muslim world tend to believe that the West bears ill will toward Islam and Muslims and wants not peace or coexistence but economic and cultural domination” .
To sum up, I would like to emphasize that partly due to the absence of a global balance of powers, the peoples, social and ethnic communities of many regions of the world, indeed mankind as such, are threatened by being divided along cultural or civilizational lines. The ever growing problem of terrorist violence is intrinsically linked to this problem as well. The alienation between social and cultural groups within and between regions is further reinforced by the uncontrolled dynamic of conflicts of interests, disputes over sovereignty issues, economic rights, etc., on the domestic, regional and international levels. Culture or civilization is often not the primary cause of such confrontations, but are being used as vehicle of such conflicts. In the globalized environment of the 21st century, the dialogue among civilizations has become the most important desideratum of world peace.
Acceptance and dialogue of civilizations refers to the act of listening to the beliefs, judgments, worries of people not only with a different cultural, ethnic, or religious background, but also with different political convictions, social positions and economic power. Civilizations, however, are abstract entities. The actors of a dialogue of civilizations will always be individuals, whose ways of thinking and values are influenced by their civilizational background, and who engage in a dialogue with other individuals, whose identities again are shaped by many influences, including her or his socio-cultural, ethnic, religious background.
Mutual awareness can be the real solution on prevention of conflicts - on the international, national and local levels - by reducing misunderstandings and mistrust, and by laying the basis for a non-violent resolution of controversies. It also has enormous potential to solve current and future economic, social and political problems by sharing experiences and through joint implementation of remedies. At its best, inter-civilizational dialogue can result in a collective sense of shared goals, enabling us to address the most important issues of all: What kind of future world do we want to live in? How can we work together to solve the problems facing humankind today, and begin creating that future?
No one can live in peace unless he accepts the reciprocity of his right to live his own life and express his civilizational identity without interference or intimidation. Acceptance of variety and natural equality of humankind should be promoted, because pre - conceived opinions, stereotypes and prejudices about others, make them perceive “otherness” as a threat more than as an enrichment of different outlooks and colorfulness of the world around us. It is the simple value of mutuality that is at the roots of civilizational dialogue.
1. Quoted in Al-Ahram weekly. - 16-22 April. - 1998. - P.2
2. Huntington S. Clash of civilizations and the remarking of World Order / Huntington S. - New York: Simon and Schuster: 1996.
3. After September 11, 2001: Clash of Civilizations or Dialogue? / Lecture by Hans Koechler. -Manila. - 14 March 2002.
4. General Assembly, fifty-sixth session, agenda item 25, A/RES/56/6, adopted at the 43rd plenary meeting, 9 November 2001.
5. Russet M. Bruce. Clash of civilizations or Realism and Liberalism.Deja vu? Some evidence / Russet M. Bruce; John R. Oneal, Michaelene Cox // Research 37, pages: 583-608.
6. doi: 10.1177/0022343300037005003. http://jpr.sagepub.com
7. The Hermeneutics of Cultural Self-Comprehension versus the Paradigm of Civilizational Conflict by H. Koechler, Kuala Lumpur. - 15-17 September 1997.
8. PeacebeuponyoubyZacharyKarabell. -VintageBooks, NewYork, 2007.
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