The Monitor's View When ‘culture clash’ gets in the way

A quarter century after the notion of a ‘clash of civilizations’ became a popular view of the world, the exceptions point a different way.


This fall marked the 25th anniversary of a famous lecture by Samuel Huntington. The late Harvard University professor predicted that world events would revolve around a “clash” of cultures and religions, or “civilizations,” rather than ideas. His view still holds some sway. China, the biggest player in East Asia’s culture, along with Russia, the biggest in the Orthodox world, are indeed vying for influence with the Christian West, which fears meddling by both giants. Meanwhile, the Islamic world is challenging all.