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Title: On Huntington's civilizational paradigm: A reappraisal
Authors: Kim, Myongsob;Hodges, H.J.
Contributors: 國關中心
Date: 2005-06
Issue Date: 2015-07-21 17:51:54 (UTC+8)
Abstract: This article aims at a two-fold reappraisal of the civilizational paradigm in international studies proposed by Samuel Huntington. First comes a positive reappraisal of the Huntingtonian civilizational paradigm. Huntington recognizes the raison d'être of plural standards of civilizations, unlike Fukuyama's civilizational paradigm of monocentric diffusion, which has seemingly become an epistemic basis for the neoconservative foreign policy of the Bush administration. Civilizational coexistence is possible in Huntington's paradigm, whereas such coexistence seems to be impossible in Fukuyama's because the latter's paradigm of monocentric diffusion recognizes no standard of civilization other than the Western one. Second comes a negative reappraisal of the Huntingtonian civilizational paradigm, especially in the East Asian context. Huntington seems to be exaggerating in arguing that "Babelization prevails over universalization." Even though predictions of cultural homogenization were wrong, the centrifugal process has not at all tended toward a Tower of Babel, pure cultural anarchy. There have surely been gravitational forces restraining the centrifugal tendencies and organizing them. We have also some reservations about the accuracy of Huntington's paradigm regarding East Asia. Huntington seems to have drawn arbitrary civilizational fault lines through East Asian civilization. Huntington's simplification of the whole of East Asia (excluding Japan) as "Sinic" overlooks the strong resistance against the Sino-monocentric order. Huntington's logic in recognizing Japan as a civilization also raises many questions. This reappraisal of the Huntingtonian paradigm does not mean that Huntington is wholly wrong to apply civilizational theory toward analyzing international relations. Perhaps Huntington's hopeful appeal to "commonalities" between civilizations might find a basis in "thick" maximalist morality, not just in "thin" minimalist morality. However, this would need to be sought in a reasonableness beyond the rationality of a Newtonian "cosmopolis," to borrow a concept from Stephen Toulmin, and this has not been pursued yet by any leading country.
Relation: Issues and Studies, 41(2), 217-248
Data Type: article
Appears in Collections:[國際關係研究中心] 期刊論文
[Issues & Studies] 期刊論文

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