After the end of empire

The sun sets early on the American Century
The ‘American Century’ only began 60 years ago. But it seems already to be over, with the disaster of Iraq forcing some of the United States’ ruling elites to realise that its hegemony has been severely weakened. But nobody seems to know what to do next, or even how to behave
By Philip S Golub

The disastrous outcome of the invasion and occupation of Iraq has caused a crisis in the power elite of the United States deeper than that resulting from defeat in Vietnam 30 years ago. Ironically, it is the very coalition of ultra-nationalists and neo-conservatives that coalesced in the 1970s, seeking to reverse the Vietnam syndrome, restore US power and revive “the will to victory”, that has caused the present crisis.

There has been no sustained popular mass protest as there was during the Vietnam war, probably because of the underclass sociology of the US’s volunteer army and the fact that the war is being funded by foreign financial flows (although no one knows how long that can continue). However, at the elite level the war has fractured the national security establishment that has run the US for six decades. The unprecedented public critique in 2006 by several retired senior officers over the conduct of the war (1), plus recurrent signs of dissent in the intelligence agencies and the State Department, reflects a much wider trend in elite opinion and key state institutions.

Not all critics are as forthright as retired General William Odom, who tirelessly repeats that the invasion of Iraq was the “greatest strategic disaster in United States history” (2), or Colonel Larry Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s former chief of staff, who denounced a “blunder of historic proportions” and has recently suggested impeaching the president (3), or former National Security Council head Zbigniew Brzezinski who called the war and occupation a “historic, strategic and moral calamity” (4).

Most public critiques from within the institutions of state focus on the way the war and occupation have been mismanaged rather than the more fundamental issue of the invasion itself. Yet discord is wide and deep: government departments are trading blame, accusing each other of the “loss of Iraq” (5). In private, former senior officials express incandescent anger, denounce shadowy cabals and have deep contempt for the White House. A former official of the National Security Council compared the president and his staff to the Corleone mafia family in The Godfather. A senior foreign policy expert said: “Due to an incompetent, arrogant and corrupt clique we are about to lose our hegemonic position in the Middle East and Gulf.” “The White House has broken the army and trampled its honour,” added a Republican senator and former Vietnam veteran.

No doves
None of these, nor any of the other institutional critics, could be considered doves: whatever their political affiliations (mostly Republican) or personal beliefs, they were – and some are still – guardians of US power, managers of the national security state, and sometimes central actors in covert and overt imperial interventions in the third world during the cold war and post-cold war. They were – and some are still – system managers of a self-perpetuating bureaucratic national security machine – first analysed by the sociologist C Wright Mills – whose function is the production and reproduction of power.

As a social group, these realists cannot be distinguished from the object of their criticism in terms of their willingness to use force or their historically demonstrated ruthlessness in achieving state aims. Nor can the cause of their dissent be attributed to conflicting convictions over ethics, norms and values (though this may be a motivating factor for some). It lies rather in the rational realisation that the war in Iraq has nearly “broken the US army” (6), weakened the national security state, and severely if not irreparably undermined “America’s global legitimacy” (7) – its ability to shape world preferences and set the global agenda. The most sophisticated expressions of dissent, such as Brzezinski’s, reflect the understanding that power is not reducible to the ability to coerce, and that, once lost, hegemonic legitimacy is hard to restore.

The signs of slippage are everywhere apparent: in Latin America, where US influence is at its lowest in decades; in East Asia, where the US has been obliged, reluctantly, to negotiate with North Korea and recognise China as an indispensable actor in regional security; in Europe, where US plans to install missile defence capabilities in Poland are being contested by Germany and other European Union states; in the Gulf, where longstanding allies such as Saudi Arabia are pursuing autonomous agendas that coincide only in part with US aims; and in the international institutions, the UN and the World Bank, where the US is no longer in a position to drive the agenda unaided.

Transnational opinion surveys show a consistent and nearly global pattern of defiance of US foreign policy as well as a more fundamental erosion in the attractiveness of the US: the narrative of the American dream has been submerged by images of a military leviathan disregarding world opinion and breaking the rules. World public opinion may not stop wars but it does count in subtler ways. Some of this slippage may be repairable under new leaders and with new and less aggressive policies. Yet it is hard to see how internal unity of purpose will be restored: it took decades to rebuild the shaken US armed forces after Vietnam and to define an elite and popular consensus on the uses of power. The mobilisation of nationalist sentiment to support foreign adventures will not be so easy after Iraq. Nor can one imagine a return to the status quo in world politics.

The invasion and occupation of Iraq is not the sole cause of the trends sketched. Rather, the war significantly accentuated all of them at a moment when larger centrifugal forces were already at work: the erosion and collapse of the Washington Consensus and the gradual rise of new gravitational centres, notably in Asia, were established trends when President George Bush went to war. Now, as the shift in the world economy towards Asia matures, the US is stuck in a conflict that is absorbing its total energies. History is moving on and the world is slipping, slowly but inexorably, out of US hands.

Destined to act as hegemon
For the US power elite this is deeply unsettling. Since the mid-20th century US leaders have thought of themselves as having a unique historic responsibility to lead and govern the globe. Sitting on top of the world since the 1940s, they have assumed that, like Great Britain in the 19th century, they were destined to act as hegemon – a dominant state having the will and the means to establish and maintain international order: peace and an open and expanding liberal world economy. In their reading of history it was Britain’s inability to sustain such a role and the US’s simultaneous unwillingness to take responsibility (isolationism) that created the conditions for the cycle of world wars and depression during the first half of the 20th century.

The corollary of this assumption is the circular argument that since order requires a dominant centre, the maintenance of order (or avoidance of chaos) requires the perpetuation of hegemony. This belief system, theorised in US academia in the 1970s as “hegemonic stability”, has underpinned US foreign policy since the second world war, when the US emerged as the core state of the world capitalist system. As early as 1940 US economic and political elites forecast a vast revolution in the balance of power: the US would “become the heir and residuary legatee and receiver for the economic and political assets of the British Empire – the sceptre passes to the United States” (8).

A year later Henry R Luce announced the coming American Century: “America’s first century as a dominant power in the world” meant that its people would have “to accept wholeheartedly our duty and our opportunity as the most powerful and vital nation and exert upon the world the full impact of our influence as we see fit and by such means as we see fit”. He added that “in any sort of partnership with the British Empire, America should assume the role of senior partner” (9). By the mid 1940s the contours of the American Century had already emerged: US economic predominance and strategic supremacy upheld by a planetary network of military bases from the Arctic to the Cape and from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

The post-war US leaders who presided over the construction of the national security state were filled, in William Appleman Williams’s words, with “visions of omnipotence” (10): the US enjoyed enormous economic advantages, a significant technological edge and briefly held an atomic monopoly. Though the Korean stalemate (1953) and the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons and missile programmes dented US self-confidence, it took defeat in Vietnam and the domestic social upheavals that accompanied the war to reveal the limits of power. Henry Kissinger’s and Richard Nixon’s “realism in an era of decline” was a reluctant acknowledgement that the overarching hegemony of the previous 20 years could not and would not last forever.

But Vietnam and the Nixon era were a turning point in another more paradoxical way: domestically they ushered in the conservative revolution and the concerted effort of the mid-1980s to restore and renew the national security state and US world power. When the Soviet Union collapsed a few years later, misguided visions of omnipotence resurfaced. Conservative triumphalists dreamed of primacy and sought to lock in long-term unipolarity (11). Iraq was a strategic experiment designed to begin the Second American Century. That experiment and US foreign policy now lie in ruins.

Britain’s long exit
Historical analogies are never perfect but Great Britain’s long exit from empire may shed some light on the present moment. At the end of the 19th century few British leaders could begin to imagine an end to empire. When Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee was celebrated in 1897, Britain possessed a formal transoceanic empire that encompassed a quarter of the world’s territory and 300 million subalterns and subjects – twice that if China, a near colony of 430 million people, was included. The City of London was the centre of an even more far-flung informal trading and financial empire that bound the world. It is unsurprising that, despite apprehensions over US and German industrial competitiveness, significant parts of the British elite believed that they had been given “a gift from the Almighty of a lease of the universe for ever”.

The Jubilee turned out to be “final sunburst of an unalloyed belief in British fitness to rule” (12). The second Boer war (1899-1902) fought to preserve the routes to India and secure the weakest link in the imperial chain, wasted British wealth and blood and revealed the atrocities of scorched-earth policies to a restive British public. “The South African War was the greatest test of British imperial power since the Indian Mutiny and turned into the most extensive and costly war fought by Britain between the defeat of Napoleon and the First World War” (13). The war that broke out in 1914 bankrupted and exhausted its European protagonists. The long end of the British era had started. However, the empire not only survived the immediate crisis but hobbled on for decades, through the second world war, until its inglorious end at Suez in 1956. Still, a nostalgia for lost grandeur persists. As Tony Blair’s Mesopotamian adventures show, the imperial afterglow has faded but is not entirely extinguished.

For the US power elite, being on top of the world has been a habit for 60 years. Hegemony has been a way of life; empire, a state of being and of mind. The institutional realist critics of the Bush administration have no alternative conceptual framework for international relations, based on something other than force, the balance of power or strategic predominance. The present crisis and the deepening impact of global concerns will perhaps generate new impulses for cooperation and interdependence in future. Yet it is just as likely that US policy will be unpredictable: as all post-colonial experiences show, de-imperialisation is likely to be a long and possibly traumatic process.


The Clash of Civilizations?", 'X' article of the post-Cold War

The Clash of Civilizations?", 'X' article of the post-Cold War

The 'Clash of Civilizations': Revisited after September 11

Engin I. Erdem*

The dissolution of the Soviet Union not only ended the Cold War era
but also it terminated simplistic understanding of world politics,
which was dominant during this time. The bloc mentality of the Cold
War has no longer provided an outlook to delineate the picture of the
new period. By the end of the Cold War, henceforth, students of
international relations have witnessed several 'contending images of
world politics'(1). The images are basically concerned with redefining
the newly emerging world politics. Interestingly, all of these images
originate in the West and in the United States in particular.(2) The
linkage is in fact significant as it demonstrates knowledge-power
relationship in international relations. Of these 'western' images of
world politics, especially Francis Fukayama's the 'End of History'(3)
and Samuel P. Huntington's the 'Clash of Civilizations?' have earned
utmost attention. In contrast to Fukayama's optimistic vision of
future, Huntington has called forth World War III that stems from
clash of civilizations.(4) He predicts that 'fundamental' differences
among the seven or eight major civilizations will more likely pave way
to global turmoil in years to come.

This paper, aims at revisiting the 'clash of civilizations' thesis in
post-September 11 world, is consisted of six parts. After introductory
section, second section will deal with Huntington's arguments, which
take place in his article, book, and his respond to the criticisms. In
the third part, seven categories of criticisms on Huntington's thesis
will take place. Then, the thesis will be re-examined in aftermath of
September 11. The fifth section will briefly touch upon Islam-the West
relations. Finally, there will be a concluding part, which offers
several remarks about the clash thesis and the delicate nature of
Islam-the West relations in the new epoch of world politics after
September 11.


George F. Kennan's 'X' article in Foreign Affairs of July 1947(5) not
only pioneered the U.S policy of containment during the Cold War but
also the article overwhelmingly framed the agenda of international
relations (IR) and U.S foreign policy thereafter. 'X' article later
became one of the most cited studies in the field of international
relations. In similar to Kennan's article, Harvard professor of
political science, Samuel P. Huntington's 'The Clash of
Civilizations?' article, which published in Foreign Affairs of Summer
1993 has significantly shaped the post-Cold War discourse(s) of IR and
U.S foreign policy. Proponents of the civilizational clash thesis and
its critics afterward have created a 'clash of scholarship'(6) in the
field. The clash of scholarship indeed has primarily induced 'fruitful
debates'(7), and it has brought the following questions into the
forefront of disciplinary agenda.

What is the nature of the newly emerging international system in
aftermath of the end of the Cold War? Which theory, paradigm or model
of IR does have the most descriptive, explanatory, prescriptive and
predictive power(8) to portray the post-Cold War world politics?

What causes to international conflict and war? Do either a clash of
'national interests' or divergent values, ideas, cultures, identities,
and civilizations primarily lead to conflict at both regional and
global levels?

How should the U.S foreign policy be re-formulated according to the
changing nature of world politics by the end of the Cold War? How
should the United States re-define its 'national interests' and
re-assess its 'strategic priorities'?

How the West-Islam relations are going to be developed in the new era
of global politics? Does/Should the United States, who is the world's
only superpower of the new era have a policy towards Islam/the Muslim
World, if yes and, how should the U.S have a policy? What is the
likely future of Islam-the West relations; conflictual or cooperative?

Does Islam compatible with democracy? Should the U.S continue to
support autocratic/authoritarian regimes in the Muslim Middle East in
order to pursue its 'strategic' interests or should the United States
reconsider and even change the policy?

While Samuel P. Huntington's the 'Clash of Civilizations?" thesis has
directed substantial attention to these questions, the critics of
Huntington have also extended the discussion further. The debate, on
the other hand, has come back into world agenda in the aftermath of
September 11 attacks.

The September 11, which is the single most remarkable event after the
Cold War, no doubt has created numerous expectations about the
changing nature of post-Cold War international system and global
politics. Ironically, it has demonstrated that how the world's only
superpower is not immune from the dangers and fragility of current
international system. On the other hand, the September 11 has
seriously questioned patterns of U.S foreign policy and especially its
policy towards the Middle East. Not surprisingly, Samuel P.
Huntington's clash of civilizations thesis has frequently taken place
in post-September 11 debates. Henceforth, fourth part of the paper
will be about the clash thesis in connection with the 9/11. Prior to
Huntington's critiques and the September 11, however, one should first
look at essentials of the clash of civilizations thesis, which take
place in the ensuing section.


Well before Huntington's 'the Clash of Civilizations?' article in
Foreign Affairs of Summer 1993, Bernard Lewis, well-known historian
and scholar of Princeton University, talked about the 'clash' in
September 1990 as follow.

It should by now clear that we are facing a mood and a movement far
transcending the level of issues and policies and the governments that
pursue them. This is no less than a clash of civilizations the perhaps
irrational but surely historic reaction of an ancient rival against
our Judeo-Christian heritage, our secular present, and the worldwide
expansion of both. It is crucially important that we on our side
should not be provoked into an equally historic but equally irrational
reaction against that rival.(9)

Three years after Bernard Lewis's Atlantic Monthly article, Samuel P.
Huntington came with a similar argument. In the first page of his
famous article, Huntington presented his civilizational conflict

It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this
new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The
great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict
will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors
in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will
occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash
of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines
between civilizations will be battle lines of the future.(10)

Huntington's clash of civilizations thesis first of all endeavors to
offer a new paradigm of world politics. Hence, it is basically about
international relations theory. In contrast to state-centric realist
theory and system-dominated neo-realist model, Huntington primarily
focuses on cultural-religious-civilizational factors. He calls forth a
paradigmatic shift to understand the post-Cold War global politics. He
argues that his 'civilizational conflict paradigm' is superior to the
alternative models, which have been developed after the Cold War.
Since inter-civilizational issues are replacing inter-superpower ones
in the new era, he argues, his paradigm provides better than any

Huntington asserts that civilizational differences, which stem from
divergent cultural and religious values will be primary causes of
regional and global conflicts in the post-Cold War epoch. The clash of
civilizations is inevitable though not necessarily to be violent. The
fault lines between civilizations stem from differences in social and
political values. Civilizations, Huntington says, have 'different
values on the relations between God and man, the individual and group,
the citizen and state, parents and children, husband and wife, as well
as differing views of the relative importance of rights and
responsibilities, liberty and authority, equality and
hierarchy'.(12)seven or eight major civilizations, he claims,
especially Islamic and Western civilizations have more likely to be
clashed because Islam is the only civilization that aspires
universalist values and poses a significant challenge to the West. On
the other hand, Huntington talks about an Islamic-Confucian connection
against the Western civilization. In doing so, he recommends that the
West should limit expansion of Islamic-Confucian states' military and
economic power and the West should exploit differences between the two

Besides, Huntington is highly concerned with de-Westernization and
indigenization of elites as well as non-Western modernization in many
non-Western countries. The West and the United States especially,
Huntington argues, should be cautious about this development. In this
regard, the West should control immigration and assimilate immigrants
in order to preserve and reify civilizational homogeneity. As he
extensively concerns with the status of Western power and unity,
Huntington also calls for improvement of Western unity. In this
respect, he recommends empowerment of the Atlantic partnership between
the US and Europe. In order to realize civilizational homogeneity of
the West he attributes NATO a 'civilizational mission'(13) Then, he
recommends that Turkey and Greece should be out of NATO for the
purpose of West's civilizational coherence.(14)

Huntington argues that the rest can hardly copy the West since he West
is not universal but unique. For this reason, the West should not
aspire universalism. Otherwise, it will lead to resentment in
non-Western world since universalism is perceived as imperialism by
the rest.(15). In the words of Huntington;

Western universalism is dangerous to the world because it could lead
to a major intercivilizational war between core states and it is
dangerous to the West…Multiculturalism at home threatens the US and
the West; universalism abroad threatens the West and the world, both
deny the uniqueness of Western culture(16)

Moreover, Huntington favors Americanization and denounces
multiculturalism. He criticizes multiculturalist tendencies in the
United States since it weakens the 'American creed'(17). 'A
multicivilizational United States will not be the US, it will be the
UN'(18). The anti-multiculturalist standing, however, has far-reaching
implications for minority groups including the Muslims in the United

Finally, one of the most interesting and remarkable parts of
Huntington's clash thesis is that his presentation of several policy
recommendations. These advices are primarily related to American
politics and US foreign policy. Of especially critical importance, the
recommendations as follow;

For Domestic Politics

Tightening immigration and assimilating immigrants and minorities in
order to increase the civilizational coherence. Otherwise the US would
be a 'cleft country'.

Instead multiculturalism pursuing policy of Americanization

For the US Foreign and Security Policy

Maintaining Western technological and military superiority over other

Enhancing the Western unity by means of pursuing Atlanticist policy.
Hence, the US should empower trans-Atlantic cooperation

Limiting the expansion of Islamic-Confucian states' military and
economic power and exploiting differences between these states.

Avoiding universalist aspiration since the West is unique not
universalist. Not to intervene in the affairs of other civilizations.

In case of a World War III, which civilizational differences are high
likely to cause the United States should get Japan, Latin American
states and Russia in her side against potential Islamic-Confucian

These policy recommendations, which are tremendously provocative, have
generated great amount of attention in both the United States/West and
the rest of the world. Henceforth, it has drawn several criticisms.
Critiques to Huntington's policy recommendations as well as other
criticisms of the clash thesis will take place in the following


Not surprisingly, Samuel P. Huntington's 'thought-provoking' and/or
provocative the 'Clash of Civilizations?' essay has attracted
voluminous attention in all over the world and it has resulted in a
'clash of scholarship'(20). Though the thesis touches upon rich array
of issues, international relations theory, the U.S foreign policy and
Islam-the West/Islam-democracy relations have become the major areas
of contention. In this section, the paper incorporates major
criticisms of Huntington's civilizational clash thesis. In doing so,
seven types of criticisms deserve the most attention.

First of all, Huntington has been criticized for his presentation of
'new paradigm'. He argues that the dominant Cold War paradigm of
state-centric realist model can no longer be useful to understand the
post-Cold War era and claims that civilizational differences will be
primary source of regional and global conflicts.(21) The critics
suggest that Huntington's 'civilizational conflict paradigm' is
reductionist and deterministic since there are multiple causes of
conflict, in which civilizational factors do not play significant
role.(22) In opposed to Huntington, many also have argued that 'clash
of interests' rather than 'clash of civilizations' will continue to be
real cause of conflict.(23) For instance, Shireen T. Hunter argues
that problematic relations between the West and the Muslim World are
hardly stemmed from civilizational differences as Huntington argues
but from structural-political and economic- inequalities between the
two worlds of 'have' and 'have nots'.(24) On the other hand, Fouad
Ajami contends that Huntington overestimates cultural differences
between civilizations while he underestimates the influence of the
West in the hostile relations with the Muslim World.(25) The critics
argue that Huntington does not come up with a 'new paradigm' since his
thesis fits into 'political realism' par excellence(26). They contend
that Huntington follows bloc based Cold War mentality while he is
basically concerned with the West's technological and military
superiority.(27) They also suggest that Huntington's 'Machivellian'
advice of exploiting differences between Islamic and Confucian
civilizations can only be considered within the 'realist' realm.(28)
On the other hand, G. John Ikenberry argues that Huntington calls
forth a new Cold War. In similar to Ikenberry, Rubenstein and Crocker
assert that Huntington proclaims; 'long live the new Cold War'.(29) In
sum, Huntington has received several criticisms on the basis of his
'new paradigm'.

Second category of criticisms is about Huntington's 'monolithic'
conception of civilizations and ignorance of intra-civilizational
differences and domestic conflict. Many critics argue that Huntington
has monolithic conception of the 'West' and 'Islam', in which
polycentric structure of both worlds has been totally neglected.(30)
On one side, there is a serious contention of multiculturalism vs.
Americanization in the U.S, which James Kurth labels it as the 'real
clash'.(31) Kurth argues that the idea of West has undergone a
significant transformation in turn of the 21st century, and the real
clash will happen not between the West and the rest, as Huntington
assumes, but it will arise between pro-Western conservatives and
post-Western liberal multiculturalists in the U.S/West.(32) On the
other side, the critics contend that Huntington ignores internal
dynamics, plurality and 'myriad complexities'(33) of Islam/the Muslim
World.(34) They argue that there is no single Islamic culture as
Huntington implies but there are multiple centers of Islam and various
types of political Islam and Islamism in the Muslim World.(35) For
this reason, some critics call for 'de-constructing monolithic
perceptions' of Islam and the West.(36) Furthermore, there are
numerous conflicts within civilizations. For instance, M.E Ahrari and
S. Hunter ask Huntington how Iraqi and Turkish treatment of Kurds can
demonstrate civilizational unity and coherence.(37) Besides, it may
happen more cooperation between two countries that come from different
civilizations than those of the same civilization. Hunter gives the
example of Turkey's strategic relations with Israel in the 1990s when
a time its relations with the Arab World and Iran were generally
problematic.(38) In sum, second sort of criticisms focuses on
diversity and dynamics of each civilization and intra-civilizational
differences/domestic conflict. To these critics, neither the West nor
other civilizations is monolithic and domestic
conflicts/intra-civilizational differences matter more than
civilizational conflicts.

Third, Huntington has pulled many criticisms because of the alleged
inconsistencies, methodological flaws, and overgeneralizations in his
thesis as well as for his reading of history and 'selective
perception'.(39) For instance, Robert Marks argues that Huntington
mostly uses secondary sources in his book and he has weak scholarship
of Islam, China and Japan.(40) Marks also suggest that Huntington's
theory is methodologically flawed because of his frequent
overgeneralizations in the analysis of civilizations. On the other
hand, many argue that Huntington's thesis has several inconsistencies.
For example, he mentions both 'Arab' and 'Islamic' civilizations.(41)
Moreover, many have also criticized the cases, which Huntington uses
to support his thesis. Fouad Ajami, for instance, contends that the
Gulf War is a case for 'clash of state interests' par excellence not a
case for 'clash of civilizations'.(42) Interestingly, Huntington
upholds his thesis with King Hussein of Jordan, which he said the war
happens between the West and Islam.(43) However, Huntington probably
should know that the coalition that formed against Saddam Hussein was
composed of several Muslim states including Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
In similar to Ajami's criticism of the Gulf War case, Hunter
criticizes Huntington's use of Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict as
civilizational clash since she argues that Muslim Iran had more
friendly relations with 'Christian' Armenians than 'Muslim'
Azerbaijan.(44) Furthermore, Seizaburo Sato asks Huntington why he
suggests getting Japan against potential Islamic-Confucian alignment
while he earlier defined Japan as economic threat to the West. Sato
also questions Huntington's advice to get Russia into the EU since he
also puts Russia as the core state of Slavic-Orthodox
civilization.(45) In this respect, the critics have focused on vast
generalizations and 'inconsistencies'.

Fourth, the clash of civilizations thesis has attracted considerable
amount of criticism on the basis of its language of 'us' and 'them' or
its embedded epistemology of 'othering'.(46) The critics generally
hold that Huntington's understanding of Islam-the West relations is
fundamentally based upon orientalist scholarship of Islam, in which
Islam is perceived as a problem and even a threat to the West.(47)
Edward Said, a well-known critic of orientalism, contends that
Huntington's thesis has orientalist backdrop, hence it always
privileges the West and ignores the other (Islam). For Said, this
approach is less likely to lead any critical understanding of 'other'
but it only feeds self-pride. He also argues that there is a 'clash of
ignorance' rather than 'clash of civilizations'.(48) On the other
hand, Manochehr Dorraj, argues that the clash thesis reifies,
distorts, and de-humanizes the Muslims.(49) Finally, the critics argue
that perceiving the 'other' as a 'threat' instead a 'challenge'(50),
leads to 'siege mentality', which originate from 'Western hubris'.(51)

Fifth category of criticisms is about Huntington's policy
recommendations on the basis of his interpretation of post-Cold War
global politics. The critics, first of all, questions Huntington's
'enemy' discourse, in which Islamic and Confucian civilizations are
perceived as a threat to the West. Monshipouri, Petonito and
Battistella contend that Huntington looks for new enemies, which
replace the adversary of the Cold War, the Soviet Union.(52) Said and
Wasim, on the other hand, argue that Huntington's theory is an
ideological and strategic theory that aims at influencing the US
foreign and defense policy.(53) In this regard, Hans Kung pinpoints
the fact that Huntington was an advisor to Pentagon in 1994 while his
thesis has become so popular in all over the world. Kung also suggests
that Huntington's scenario of World War III that stems from clash of
civilizations interestingly fits best into military and
representatives of arms industry.(54) In this respect, the 'clash of
civilizations' is considered as 'purposeful thesis' as it aims at
guiding the US foreign and security policy. Moreover, some scholars
criticize Huntington's advice to pursue 'Atlanticist policy', by
increasing the relations with Europe against 'Islamic-Confucian
connection'. According to John Ikenberry, Huntington's vision
originates from bloc mentality and his approach is significantly
dangerous for the United States and international peace. In sum,
Huntington has taken many criticisms for the policy recommendations.

Sixth, as stated above, the 'Clash of Civilizations?' article has
produced 'fruitful debates' within the discipline of international
relations. Then the discipline has witnessed several empirical studies
about the thesis. These studies constitute the sixth type of
critiques. Of these empirical studies, Pippa Norris and Ronald
Inglehart's study is especially remarkable. They have compared
political and social values of the Western and Muslim societies by
using World Values Survey database. Norris and Inglehart,
'surprisingly', have found that Muslims have no less democratic ideals
than the West and 'the West is not distinctive to Islam in its faith
in democracy'.(55) In this respect, their study has considerably
falsified Huntington's assumption that Islam and the West have
fundamentally different political values based upon predominant
religious cultures. The study demonstrates the existence of similar
political attitudes in the Muslim World and the West. Manus
Midlarsky's empirical study has also produced a similar conclusion
that there is no negative association between Islam and democracy,
which Huntington assumes to lead civilizational conflict.(56)
Moreover, Bruce Russett, John Oneal and Michaelene Cox have looked for
the significance of cultural/civilizational variables in causing
international conflict. Their study is based on University of
Michigan's Correlates of War Project, which keeps data of all
militarized inter-state disputes from 1885 to 1994. They have finally
found that realist and liberal variables of conflict (realist
variables-geography, power, alliances and liberal variables-democracy,
economic interdependence and international organizations) not
civilizations matter most in international conflict and
cooperation.(57) Hence, all these three empirical studies pose
significant challenge to the clash of civilizations thesis.
Last but not least, Samuel Huntington's thesis has been harshly
criticized as claiming that the 'clash of civilizations' will likely
to be a 'self-fulfilling prophecy'. It means that Huntington's thesis
causes the expected event-clash of civilizations- to occur and so the
thesis confirms it own 'accuracy'. On the other hand, John Ikenberry
says that Huntington's thesis is civilizational equivalent of
'security dilemma', in which misperceptions about the other eventually
increases the tension and then leads to conflict(58). He also suggests
'if ideas by prominent thinkers have any impact on the real world' the
clash thesis is potentially dangerous.(59) On the other hand, both
Mahbubani and Sato contend that Huntington's policy recommendations,
if applied, will be so dangerous and they will cause a disaster for
international peace and security.(60) Furthermore, many have
criticized Huntington for his pessimistic vision of future and
ignorance the fact that cooperation and dialogue among civilizations
are possible. For this reason, it is not coincidence that several
conferences on civilizational dialogue have been organized recently,
probably as a response to the 'clash of civilizations'.(61)
The seven types of criticisms, which are mentioned above constitute a
substantial challenge to Samuel Huntington's thesis. Huntington
responded some of these critiques in his "If Not Civilizations,
What?:Paradigms of the Post-Cold War World" article in Foreign Affairs
of November/December 1993 and his 'Clash of Civilizations" book. The
debate has however continued thereafter. Finally, the September 11 has
greatly influenced the debate. The following section will deal with
the issue especially focusing on the question; how the debate will
likely to make a sense for the post-9/11 world politics?


To what extent the September 11 has influenced the debate for the
'clash of civilizations'. Is the post-September 11 world fitting more
to Huntington's frame? How Huntington has revisited or even
'falsified' the thesis by his own article in Newsweek of December
2001? These are interesting questions come into mind. This section
will mainly deal with these questions. Yet, one should first look at
major developments that happened after the tragic events of September

First of all, Islam-the West relations have gained an increasing
attention after September 11. Even though many in the West have
rightly reiterated that Islam is religion of peace(62) and Al-Quida
cannot be considered as representative of Islam, Islam vs. terror
debate has frequently come into agenda.(63) Not unexpectedly, the
Western media looked at 'Islamic roots' of the terrible attacks.
Thereafter, 'Islam', 'Islamism', 'political Islam' and 'Islamic
fundamentalism' became the most frequently used terms in the media.
Not surprisingly, the 'clash of civilizations' has also extensively
taken place in this time.

Second, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has overwhelmingly topped
into regional and global agenda as a result of increasing tension in
the region. The conflict has accelerated the debate for 'clash of
civilizations', asking the question; to what extent the conflict can
be considered within the realm of clash of civilizations?

Third, anti-Americanism has significantly increased in the Muslim
World in aftermath of the September 11. According to the recent Gallup
poll, there is considerable distrust of the United States after
September 11.(64) This is also other important development that
increased interest over the clash thesis.

Does post-September 11 world really fit into to the clash thesis? The
answer seems to be no because of the following reasons. First, the
United States led- campaign in Afghanistan has acquired significant
support from the Muslim World. Even Iran has supported the U.S led
campaign and Turkey has played an active role in the campaign(65) One
may talk about global coalition against terrorism, which across
different civilizations. The growing anti-American sentiments,
however, is not limited to the Muslim World since it is a fact in
elsewhere including 'Western' Europe.(66) The growing anti-Americanism
is in fact not about civilizational values but primarily about the
U.S's Mideast policy. The United States is criticized especially for
its alleged unbalanced, pro-Israeli policy in the Palestinian-Israeli
conflict and because of its cooperation with authoritarian-repressive
regimes of the Middle East.(67) Anti-Americanism is, on the other
hand, especially very related to the Bush administration. The
administration's 'axis of evil' rhetoric has attracted serious
criticisms not only from the Muslim world but also from Europe.(68)
Furthermore, US hegemony and unilateralism not 'Western-Christian-
values can be considered as cause of growing anti-American sentiments
in the Muslim world. In this respect, ignoring the different political
perspectives within the 'Western' civilization and talking about
'clash of civilizations' is considerably questionable.

In revisiting the clash thesis after September 11, it is noteworthy
mentioning about Huntington's 'The Age of Muslim Wars' article in
Newsweek of December 2001. Though Huntington argues here that 'the
makings exist for a clash of civilizations between Muslim and
non-Muslims and he also argues that reactions to September 11 and the
American response were strictly along civilizational lines'(69) he
makes fundamental revisions in his earlier standing, which take place
in his 'Clash of Civilizations?' article and book. First of all,
Huntington now begins to argue that civilizational conflict is
possible but not inevitable while he had earlier said it is
inevitable. Second, he now maintains that 'the age of Muslim wars has
roots in more general causes that do not include the inherent nature
of Islamic doctrine or beliefs. The clash of contemporary Muslim wars
lies in politics not 7th religious doctrines'. In this regard, he
refutes his earlier point that ontological differences of the Western
and Islamic civilizations-without talking about political factors-
inevitably produce the clash. Third, Huntington now underscores the
fact that the Muslim people reacts to the Western governments as they
support 'corrupt, ineffective, and repressive' governments. Fourth,
interestingly Huntington now recommends that hostility towards the
West could be reduced by changes in US policy toward Israel. In doing
so, he accepts the difference between the clash of civilizations,
which based upon divergent ontological worlds and anxiety towards to
US policies. Fifth, he also now talks about probability of peaceful
-'clash of civilizations' free- world politics in the future. This
also constitutes a great contradiction with his previous standing. In
sum, Huntington's Newsweek article, 'the Age of Muslim Wars', deserves
great attention to reconsider the clash thesis after September 11.


The tragedy of September 11, not unexpectedly, deeply sensitized
Islam-the West relations and especially the U.S relations with the
Muslim World. Then, the following questions have become of critical
importance; how does the 'clash of civilizations' discourse make an
impact on the post-9/11 relations between the Muslim World and the
West/the U.S? How the event will influence perceptions of Islam and
the Muslims in the mind of Western elites and people? How will the
Muslims in the United States and Europe likely to be influenced by
post-September 11 developments?(70) These questions are obviously of
profound importance and they will most likely to be centerpiece of
numerous debates thereafter.

Samuel P. Huntington's clash of civilizations paradigm unquestionably
has menacing implications for Islam-the West relations.(71) As
mentioned earlier, Huntington's understanding of Islam basically bases
upon orientalist scholarship of Islam, in which Islam-'the other' is
being depicted as a threat and even an enemy to the West. It also
fosters and/or justifies negative images and stereotypes of
Islam/Muslims such as 'violent, terroristic, backward, and
immoral'.(72) The negative stereotypes eventually distract the West
from the search for critical understanding and dialogue with Islam/the
Muslim World. In this respect, Huntington's perspective of Islam is
considerably parallel to orientalist scholarship's story of conflict
rather than dialogue or at least peaceful coexistence between the two
worlds. Neo-third worldist or anti-orientalist scholarship of Islam,
on the other hand, portrays a different scheme of Islam-the West
relations. As pointed earlier, this scholarship deeply criticizes
orientalist 'epistemology of othering'(73) and the depiction of Islam
as a threat and enemy. It also has a different historical perspective
of Islam-the West relations. This scholarship emphasizes long periods
of peaceful coexistence between the two worlds. Moreover,
anti-orientalist scholars, such as John Esposito emphasize diversity
and plurality of the Muslim World by drawing attention towards various
'Islams', and 'Islamisms'.(74) Finally, they recommend that critical
understanding and dialogue between the two sides are of crucial
importance especially in the increasingly transnational and
interdependent world.(75)

The mentioned differences between orientalist and anti-orientalist
scholarship of Islam also appear in regard to divergent views of
'political Islam', 'Islamism' and 'Islamic fundamentalism'.(76)
Monolithic perceptions of orientalist perspective are also clear in
understanding of these phenomenons. This perspective generally depicts
those phenomenons as a great threat to 'Western civilization' as well
as to Western interests. On the other hand, anti-orientalist
perspective emphasizes the plurality and multi-dimensionality of
'political Islam', 'Islamism' and 'Islamic revivalism' by underscoring
various historical and political contexts within the Muslim World.
Moreover, the divergence between orientalist and anti-orientalist
scholarship of Islam also appears on Islam vs. democracy debate;
whether Islam and democracy is compatible. Expectedly, orientalist
scholarship underscores the inherent incompatibility while the other
side argues that Islam and democracy are compatible.(77)

The clash of civilizations thesis, no doubt, has considerably negative
implications for Islam-the West relations. First of all, it creates a
great setback for the West to recognize diversity and plurality of the
Muslim World and various interpretations of Islam. It closes all
avenues for dialogue with the 'other'. Moreover, it draws a very
pessimistic outlook for future of the relations, as Huntington
foresees, Islam and the West will inevitably clash though it may not
be violent.(78) Keeping Huntington's confrontational vision in mind,
the 9/11 might at first be seen as a case to validate the thesis. Yet,
the reality is hardly like that because of the two major reasons

First, American campaign against al-Quida terrorist organization has
received full support from the Muslim World including Iran, which has
the very hostile and problematic relations with the United States.
Yet, it does not necessarily mean that the whole Muslim World supports
the Bush administration's 'war against terrorism' and 'axis of evil'
discourse. The criticisms, however, are hardly related with
'civilizational differences' but they are mostly about the Bush
administration's unilateralism.(79) Besides, as mentioned above, these
criticisms are not restricted to the Muslim world.(80) European elites
and people have considerably criticized the Bush administration before
and after September 11 too.(81) In this respect, it is wrong to say
that American campaign against al-Quida and the growing anti-American
sentiments in the Muslim World after September 11 validates the clash
of civilizations thesis.

Second, the growing anti-Americanism in aftermath of September 11 is
also significantly dealt with the US policy towards the
Palestinian-Israeli conflict and its policy of supporting
authoritarian and repressive regimes for the sake of the 'strategic
interests'. As many- including Huntington(82)- argue that, the U.S may
alleviate the negative sentiments if she revises its policy toward the
region.(83) In this respect, the Muslim anxiety towards the United
States is deeply related to 'clash of policies-interests' not 'clash
of civilizations'. This also seems to be remained as a fact in
post-9/11 period.


"The Clash of Civilizations?", 'X' article of the post-Cold War,
period has resulted in 'clash of scholarship' in both academic and
policy circles. This paper, first of all, endeavors to examine
Huntington's thesis and its critiques. Then, it briefly evaluates the
thesis in the post-September 11 world. In this final section, several
concluding remarks take place.

First of all, Harvard Professor, Samuel P. Huntington is right in the
sense that culture and religion considerably matter in aftermath of
the Cold War.(84) Cultural and religious elements not played
considerable role during the Cold War especially because of the strict
bipolar system in this time. The new era of global politics, on the
other hand, allows various ethnic, religious and cultural elements
come into forefront of regional and global politics. Numerous ethnic
conflicts and wars after the Cold War such as in Bosnia, Kosova,
Somalia, and Rwanda demonstrate the increasing importance of culture
and ethnicity. However, it does not mean that civilizational
differences, overlooking the struggles for power and interest, are
primary sources of conflict in this period. Besides, it is hard to
accept that Huntington's clash of civilizations model offers a 'new
paradigm'. Premises of classical realism- 'balance of power'
'interest' and 'alliances' essentially circumscribe the clash thesis.
Huntington deeply concerns with state of Western power vis-à-vis other
'civilizations' power'. (Remember, for example, his advice to empower
Atlantic partnership against 'Islamic-Confucian connection')

Second, Huntington's thesis basically depends on orientalist
understandings of Islam, in which Islam-the 'other'- is perceived as
culturally inferior to the West and identified as threat and even
enemy. This understanding ignores the diversity, plurality and various
dynamics of Islam/the Muslim World as well as that of 'Islamism' and
'Islamic fundamentalism'. This approach, however, closes the avenues
for mutual understanding and dialogue as well as it leads to 'clash of
misunderstandings'.(85) Moreover, Huntington has a selective
perception in choosing cases in order to enforce his argument. For
instance, he probably should know that the Gulf War is dealt with
'clash of interests', yet he exemplifies the War as a case for 'clash
of civilizations'. Furthermore, Huntington underestimates probability
of cooperation and dialogue among civilizations and between states,
which come from different civilizations. Besides, as one of the most
problematic points is that Huntington ignores the role of Western
colonialism and hegemony in Muslim anxiety towards the West. However,
as James Scott rightly suggests that 'wherever there is domination one
also finds resistance'(86).

Third, US action is very crucial for the future of Islam-the West
relations. As the world's only superpower, the United States should be
cautious about Muslim concerns in related to both Palestinian-Israeli
conflict and democratization process in the Middle East. The United
States encounters a dilemma in this regard; how it converges its
ideals of democracy and freedom with concerns of 'power and interest'.
The Muslim peoples have a conviction that the West/U.S pursues double
standards when democracy and human rights deal with the Muslim World.
The U.S should not enforce this belief in the Muslim World by ignoring
people's democratic demands for the sake of stability of its
"strategic interests'. As Henry Nau rightly proposes, the United
States should follow a coherent policy towards the Muslim Middle East
by converging his identity and power(87). Otherwise, the growing
anti-American sentiments in the Muslim World will continue to harm the
relations between the West/U.S and the Muslim World.

Fourth, the West and the Muslim World should be open to critical
dialogue and mutual understanding. The 'clash of civilizations'
discourse creates a great obstacle for this effort. The need for
dialogue between the two worlds in particular and among all
civilizations in general is especially clear in increasingly
transnational and interdependent world. Otherwise, the 'clash of
civilizations' would be self-fulfilling prophecy. To blame the other
and to abstain from self-criticisms does not produce a sustainable
solution for the problems between the two worlds. Dialogue and mutual
understanding is the only way for a promising future.
Fifth, as frequently stated above, the 'clash of civilizations' has
resulted in a 'clash of scholarship' in the fields of international
relations, American foreign and security policy as well as in dealing
with Islam-the West relations. In this respect, the clash thesis has
made important contribution in these areas. Lastly, the September 11
has vitalized the debate and sensitized the relations between the West
and the Muslim World. As asked earlier, the following questions have
become of profound importance; how does the 'clash of civilizations'
discourse make an impact on the post-9/11 relations between the Muslim
World and the West/the U.S? How the 9/11 will influence perceptions of
Islam and the Muslims in the mind of Western elites and people? How
will the Muslims in the United States and Europe likely to be
influenced by post-September 11 developments? This paper has only
touched upon these issues in brief; hence they urgently call for
further studies.

*Engin I. Erdem is PhD Student in Department of Politics at University
of Virginia.

(1)Greg Fry and Jacinta O'Hagan (Eds.), Contending Images of World
Politics, (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2001)

(2)Fry and O'Hagan, "Introduction" in Contending Images of World
Politics, pp. 15-18

(3)Francis Fukayama, "The End of History", The National Interest,
No.16, Summer 1989 and The End of History and the Last Man (New York:
Avon Books, 1992)

(4)Samuel P. Huntington, "The West, Civilizations, and Civilization",
in The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New
York: Simon & Shuster 1996)

(5)X, "The Sources of Soviet Conduct," Foreign Affairs Vol.25, No. 4
(July 1947) (Reprinted in Foreign Affairs, Vol.65, No. 4 (Spring
1987), pp. 852-868

(6)Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart, "Islam and the West; Testing the
Clash of Civilizations Thesis", John F. Kennedy School of Government,
Harvard University, Faculty Research Working Papers Series
(RWP02-015), April 2002, p.14

(7)Mahmood Monshipouri and Gina Petonito, "Constructing The Enemy in
the Post-Cold War Era: The Flaws of the "Islamic Conspiracy" Theory",
Journal of Church & State, (Autumn 1995), Vol. 37, No. 4, pp. 773-792

(8)Scott Burchill and Andrew Linklater with Richard Devetak, Matthew
Paterson and Jacqui True, Theories of International Relations (New
York: St. Martin's Press, 1996)

(9)Bernard Lewis, "The Roots of Muslim Rage: Why So Many Muslims
Deeply Resent the West, and Why Their Bitterness Will Not Be Easily
Mollified", The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 266, No.3 (September 1990), pp.

(10)Samuel P. Huntington, "The Clash of Civilizations?" Foreign
Affairs, Vol. 72, No. 3, (Summer 1993), p. 22

(11)Samuel P. Huntington, "If Not Civilizations, What?: Paradigms of
the Post-Cold War World", Foreign Affairs (November/December 1993),
pp. 187-189

(12)Samuel P. Huntington, "The Clash of Civilizations?", p. 25

(13)M.E Ahrari, "The Clash of Civilizations: An Old Story or New
Truth?", New Perspectives Quarterly, Vol. 14, No.2 (Spring 1997),

(14)Samuel P. Huntington, "The West Unique, Not Universal", Foreign
Affairs, November/December 1996, p.45

(15)Samuel P. Huntington, "The West, Civilizations, and Civilization"

(16)Samuel P. Huntington, "The West, Civilizations, and Civilization"

(17)James Kurth, "The Real Clash", The National Interest, No. 37 (Fall
1994), pp. 3-15.

(18)Samuel P. Huntington, "The West, Civilizations, and Civilization"

(19)Samuel P. Huntington, "The Clash of Civilizations?", "The West,
Civilizations, and Civilization" and , "If Not Civilizations, What?:
Paradigms of the Post-Cold War World"

(20)Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart, ibid, p.14

(21)Samuel P. Huntington, "The Clash of Civilizations?", p.22

(22)Marc Gopin, "Foreword", in Shireen T. Hunter, "The Future of Islam
and the West: Clash of Civilizations or Peaceful Coexistence",
(Westport, CT: Preager and CSIS, 1998) and Fouad Ajami, "The
Summoning", Foreign Affairs, Vol. 72, No.4 (September-October 1993),

(23)Shireen T. Hunter, "The Future of Islam and the West: Clash of
Civilizations or Peaceful Coexistence?", Fouad Ajami, M.E Ahrari, "The
Clash of Civilizations: An Old Story or New Truth?", Yuksel Sezgin,
"Does Islam Pose A Threat to the West?" Perceptions: Journal of
International Affairs, Vol. 5, No. 2, (June-August 2000)

(24)Shireen T. Hunter, "The Future of Islam and the West: Clash of
Civilizations or Peaceful Coexistence?", pp.19-20

(25)Fouad Ajami, ibid

(26)Richard E. Rubenstein and Jarle Crocker, "Challenging Huntington",
Foreign Policy, No. 96 (Fall 1994), p.115-117 and Hans Kung,
"Inter-Cultural Dialogue Versus Confrontation" (Chapter9), in Henrik
Schmiegelow (Ed.), Preventing The Clash of Civilizations: A Peace
Strategy for the Twenty-First Century (Roman Herzog With comments by
Amitai Etzioni, Hans Kung, Bassam Tibi, and Masakazu Yamazaki) (New
York: St Martin's Press, 1999), p. 103

(27)Hans Kung, "Inter-Cultural Dialogue Versus Confrontation" p.102
and Mahmood Monshipouri and Gina Petonito, "Constructing The Enemy in
the Post-Cold War Era…"

(28)Seifudein Adem Hussien, "On the End of History and the Clash of
Civilization: A Dissenter's View", Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs,
Vol. 21, No. 1 (2001), p. 32

(29)G. John Ikenberry, "Just Like the Rest", Foreign Affairs
(March-April 1997), p. 163, Richard E. Rubenstein and Jarle Crocker,
"Challenging Huntington", Foreign Policy, No. 96 (Fall 1994), p.117

(30)John L. Esposito, Political Islam: Revolution, Radicalism or
Reform, (Boulder, Co: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1997), Shireen T.
Hunter, "The Future of Islam and the West: Clash of Civilizations or
Peaceful Coexistence", Robert Marks, "The Clash of Civilizations and
the Remaking of World Order" (Book Review), Journal of World History,
Vol.11, No. 1 (Spring 2000), pp. 101-104, Richard Rosecrance, "The
Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order", (Book
Review), American Political Science Review, Vol.92, No.4 (December
1998), p978-980, John C. Raines, "The Politics of Religious
Correctness: Islam and the West", Cross Currents, Vol. 46, No. 1
(Spring 1996), pp.39-49 (It is available at:
http://www.crosscurrents.org/Raines2.htm) On conceptions of 'West' and
'Islam', especially see; Mohammed Arkoun and John Bowden, "Is Islam
Threatened by Christianity", Cross Currents, Vol. 45 No. 4 (Winter
1995-96), pp. 469-478, and Mohammed Arkoun, Rethinking Islam: Common
Questions, Uncommon Answers, Translated and edited by Robert D. Lee,
(Oxford: Westview Press, 1994)

(31)James Kurth, "The Real Clash"

(32)James Kurth, "American and the West: Global Triumph or Western
Twilight?", ORBIS (Summer 2001), pp.333-341

(33)Fred Halliday, Islam and the Myth of Confrontation: Religion, and
Politics in the Middle East (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1996), p.
217 cited in Mahmood Monshipouri, "The West's Modern Encounter With
Islam: From Discourse to Reality", Journal of Church and State, Vol.
40, No.1 (Winter 1998), pp. 25-56

(34)Edward W. Said, "The Clash of Ignorance", The Nation, October 22
2001 and Mahmood Monshipouri, "The West's Modern Encounter With Islam:
From Discourse to Reality".

(35)See 30th note.

(36)Ibrahim Kalin, "Islam and the West: Deconstructing Monolithic
Perceptions- A Conversation with Professor John Esposito", Journal of
Muslim Minority Affairs, Vol. 21, No. 1 (2001), pp. 155-163

(37)M.E Ahrari, ibid, Shireen T. Hunter, "The Future of Islam and the
West: Clash of Civilizations or Peaceful Coexistence?", p.25

(38)Shireen T. Hunter, "The Future of Islam and the West: Clash of
Civilizations or Peaceful Coexistence?", p.169. On Turkish-Israeli
relations in the 1990s see also; Engin I. Erdem, From Rapprochement to
Strategic Partnership: Turkish-Israeli Relations in the 1990s,
Unpublished Master's Thesis, (Istanbul: Fatih University, 2001)

(39)Mahmood Monshipouri and Gina Petonito, ibid

(40)Robert Marks, "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of
World Order" (Book Review)

(41)Samuel P. Huntington, "The Clash of Civilizations?", pp.24-25

(42)Fouad Ajami, p. 7-8

(43)Samuel P. Huntington, "The Clash of Civilizations?" pp.35-36

(44)Shireen T. Hunter, "The Future of Islam and the West: Clash of
Civilizations or Peaceful Coexistence?" p.

(45)Seizaburo Sato, "The Clash of Civilizations: A View from Japan",
Asia Pacific Review (October 1997) It is available at

(46)Ibrahim Kalin, ibid, p.156

(47)Mahmood Monshipouri and Gina Petonito, ibid, and Ibrahim Kalin, p.155

(48)Edward W. Said, "The Clash of Ignorance"

(49)Manochehr Dorraj, "In The Throes of Civilizational Conflict",
Peace Review, Vol. 10, No. 4 (December 1998), pp. 633-637

(50)Ibrahim Kalin, ibid, p.155

(51)Kishore Mahbubani, "The West and the Rest", National Interest,
Issue 28, (Summer 1992), pp.10-14

(52)Mahmood Monshipouri and Gina Petonito, ibid, Dario Battistella,
"Recherche Ennemi Desesperement… Response a Samuel P. Huntington a
propos d'un affrontement a venir entre l'Occident et l'Islam",
Confluences Mediterranee, No. 40 (Winter 2001-2002)

(53)Edward W. Said, "The Clash of Ignorance", Naz Wasim, "Challenging
Samuel Huntington's 'The Clash of Civilizations': The Shared Tradition
of Europe and Islam" in International Conference on the Dialogue of
Civilizations, 31 July to 3 August 2001, Tokyo and Kyoto,
http://www.unu.edu/dialogue/conf-report.pdf, For the UNU Project on
the Dialogue of Civilizations, see also http://www.unu.edu/dialogue

(54)Hans Kung, "Inter-Cultural Dialogue Versus Confrontation", p.102

(55)Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart, ibid, p.11-12

(56)Manus I. Midlarsky, "Democracy and Islam: Implications for
Civilizational Conflict and the Democratic Peace', International
Studies Quarterly, Vol. 42, No.3, 1998, pp.485-511

(57)Bruce M. Russett, John R. Oneal, Michaelene Cox, "Clash of
Civilizations, or Realism and Liberalism Deju Vu? Some evidence",
Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 37, No.5 (September 2000), pp.583-608
and "Clash of Civilizations, or Realism and Liberalism Deju Vu?' in
Bruce Russett and John R. Oneal, Triangulating Peace: Democracy,
Interdependence, and International Organizations (New York:
W.W.Norton, 2001)

(58)John Hertz and Robert Jervis has first brought 'security dilemma'
into the disciplinary agenda. "The anarchic nature of world politics
leads to a situation known as the security dilemma. The security
dilemma arises when a state feels insecure and decides that its best
policy is to increase its military strength. Its objective in doing so
is not [necessarily] to enhance its aggressive power, but only to
increase its ability to defend against attack. Unfortunately, a
neighboring country may then feel threatened by this increase of
aggressive potential. The second state might then pursue its own
military buildup. An unintended spiral thus occurs, where every nation
grows more and more insecure and seeks to stay as defended as
possible". Stephen L. Spiegel and Fred L. Wehling, World Politics in a
New Era (Orlando: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1995), p.8 See
also; John Hertz "Idealist Internationalism and the Security Dilemma",
World Politics, Vol. 2, No. 2 (1950), pp.157-80, Robert Jervis,
"Cooperation Under The Security Dilemma", World Politics, Vol. 30,
No.2 (1978) and "Was the Cold War a Security Dilemma?" Journal of Cold
War Studies, Vol. 3, No.1 (2001), pp.36-60, Charles L. Glasser, "The
Security Dilemma Revisited" World Politics, Vol. 50, No.1 (1997), pp.

(59)G. John Ikenberry, "Just Like the Rest", p.162-163

(60)Kishore Mahbubani, ibid, and Seizaburo Sato, ibid

(61)For example; International Conference on Dialogue of
Civilizations, London 27-28 October 2000,
http://www.islamic-studies.org/dialconfer, International Conference on
the Dialogue of Civilizations, 31 July to 3 August 2001, Tokyo and
Kyoto, http://www.unu.edu/dialogue/conf-report.pdf, For the UNU
Project on the Dialogue of Civilizations, see also
http://www.unu.edu/dialogue, Okinawa Declaration, The International
Conference on Dialogue of Civilizations: A New peace Agenda for a New
Millennium (Okinawa, February 11-13, 2000),
http://www.dialoguecentre.org/PDF/Okinawa%20Declaration.pdf, and
OIC-EU Joint Forum (Istanbul, February 12-13, 2002) For a brief
summary of the proceedings of the forum see;

(62)For instance, after the September 11 events American president
George W. Bush expressed that "Islam is a religion of peace". Cited in
Richard W. Bulliet, "The Crisis Within Islam", The Wilson Quarterly,
Vol. 26, No.1 (Winter 2002), pp. 11-19 On this issue see also; James
A. Beverley, "Is Islam a Religion of Peace", Christianity Today,
January 7, 2002

(63)On Islam and Terror issue see; John L. Esposito, Unholy War:
Terror in the Name of Islam (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002),
Ladan Boroumand and Roya Boroumand, "Terror, Islam, and Democracy",
Journal of Democracy, Vol. 13, No. 2 (April 2002), pp.5-20

(64)The GALLUP Org, The 2002 Gallup Poll of the Islamic World,
http://www.gallup.com/poll/summits/islam.asp and USA Today, Poll
Results, February 27, 2002,

(65)Turkey, Muslim country, took command of the International Security
Assistance Force in Afghanistan by June 2002. See for instance; BBC
News, "Turkey Confirms ISAF Command", April 29, 2002
and Turkish Daily News, "Turkey take command of ISAF", June 21, 2002

(66)Shibley Telhami, Conference, "The United States, Europe, and the
Muslim World: Revitalizing Relations After September 11", May 14-15,
2002, CSIS: Islam Program, Washington D.C. For European criticisms see
also; 81st note.

(67)Interestingly, Graham Fuller talks about a 'vicious circle'.
"Under such conditions, it should not be surprising that these
frustrated populations perceive the current war against terrorism as
functionally a war against Islam. Muslim countries are the chief
target, they contend, Muslims everywhere are singled out for censure
and police attention, and U.S power works its will across the region
with little regard for deeper Muslim concerns. A vicious circle
exists: dissatisfaction leads to anti=regime action, which leads to
repression, which in turn leads to terrorism, U.S military
intervention, and finally further dissatisfaction. Samuel Huntington's
theory of a "clash of civilizations" is seemingly vindicated before
the Muslim world's eyes". Graham E. Fuller, "The Future of Political
Islam", Foreign Affairs, March/April 2002, p.54

(68)On the protests see, for instance; USA Today, "Amid protests, Bush
arrives in Europe", May 22, 2002

(69)Samuel P. Huntington, "The Age of Muslim Wars", Newsweek, Vol.
138, No. 25, (December 17 2001), pp. 42-47

(70)On Muslims in the West see, for example; Fawaz A. Gerges, "Islam
and Muslims in the Mind of America: Influences on the Making of U.S
Policy", Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 26, No. 2 (Winter 1997),
pp. 68-80, Michael W. Suleiman, ibid, Shireen T. Hunter (Ed.), Islam,
Europe's Second Religion: The New Social, Cultural, and Political
Landscape (Westport, CT: Praeger/CSIS, 2002), Shireen T. Hunter and
Huma Malik (Eds), Islam in Europe and the United States: A Comparative
Perspective, (Washington, D.C: Center for Strategic and International
Studies, 2002), Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad and John L. Esposito, Muslims on
the Americanization Path? (Atlanta, Ga: Scholars Press, 1998), Yvonne
Yazbeck Haddad, "Muslims in U.S. Politics: Recognized and Integrated,
or Seduced and Abandoned?", SAIS Review Vol.21., No.2 (Summer-Fall
2001), pp. 91-102, Muqtedar Khan, "Nice But Tough: A Framework for U.S
Foreign Policy in the Muslim World", The Brown Journal of World
Affairs, Vol.9, No.1 (Spring 2002), pp. 355-362 and American Muslims:
Bridging Faith and Freedom (Beltsville, MD: Amana Publications, 2002)

(71)There is abundant literature on Islam, Islam-the West relations.
For example see; Akbar S. Ahmed, Discovering Islam: Making Sense of
Muslim History and Society (New York, Routledge, 2002), Bernard Lewis,
"The Roots of Muslim Rage: Why So Many Muslims Deeply Resent the West,
and Why Their Bitterness Will Not Be Easily Mollified", Islam and the
West (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994) and What Went Wrong?
Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response (New York, Oxford
University Press, 2001), Edward Said, Orientalism (New York: Pantheon,
1978) and, Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How
We See the Rest of the World, 2nd ed. (New York: Pantheon, 1997), Fred
Halliday, Islam and the Myth of Confrontation: Religion and Politics
in the Middle East, Hans Kung and Jurgen Moltmann (Eds.), "Islam: A
Challenge for Christianity", Concilium: International Journal for
Theology, 1994/3. For the content of this special issue see
http://www.concilium.org/english/ct943.htm, Ibrahim Kalin, "Islam and
the West: Deconstructing Monolithic Perceptions- A Conversation with
Professor John Esposito", Imamd-ad-Dean and Ahmad Yousef (Eds.), Islam
and the West- A Dialogue (Springfield, VA: United Association of
Studies and Research and American Muslim Foundation, 1998), John L.
Esposito, The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality? (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1992), and "Islam & Christianity Face to Face: An
Old Conflict & Prospects for a New Ending", Commonweal, Vol.124, No.2
(January 31, 1997), pp.11-16, John L. Esposito and John O. Voll,
"Islam and the West: Muslim Voices of Dialogue", Millennium: Journal
of International Studies, Volume 29, No. 3 -Special Issue: Religion
and International Relations, Mahmood Monshipouri, "The West's Modern
Encounter With Islam: From Discourse to Reality", Mohammed Arkoun, "Is
Islam Threatened by Christianity", and Rethinking Islam: Common
Questions, Uncommon Answers, Translated and edited by Robert D. Lee,
(Oxford: Westview Press, 1994), Robert Satloff, John L. Esposito,
Shibley Telhami, "Foreign Policy Debate" Propaganda, the Satans, and
Other Misunderstandings", SAIS Review, Vol. 21, No. 2 (Summer-Fall
2001), pp. 139-154 (See also other articles in this issue of
SAIS-Review), Shireen T. Hunter, "The Future of Islam and the West:
Clash of Civilizations or Peaceful Coexistence?", Shireen T. Hunter
(Ed.), The Future of Islam-West Relations: A CSIS Islamic Studies
Conference Report, (Washington D.C: Center for Strategic and
International Studies, June 30 1998)

(72)Michael W. Suleiman, "Islam, Muslims and Arabs in America: The
Other of the Other of the Other…", Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs,
Vol. 19, No. 1 (1999), p.37-44

(73)Ibrahim Kalin, ibid, p.156

(74)John L. Esposito, Political Islam: Revolution, Radicalism or
Reform, (Boulder, Co: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1997)

(75)M.E Ahrari, ibid

(76)On 'Islamic Fundamentalism', 'Islamism' and 'Political Islam' see;
Bessam Tibi, The Challenge of Fundamentalism? Political Islam and the
New World Disorder (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998),
Bobby S. Sayyid, A Fundamental Fear: Eurocentrism and the Emergence of
Islamism (London, Zed 1997), Gilles Kepel, Jihad: the Trail of
Political Islam (MA: Harvard University Press, 2002), Graham E.
Fuller, "The Future of Political Islam", Ibrahim A. Karawan, The
Islamist Impasse, Adelphi Paper 314, (London, Oxford University
Press/International Institute for Strategic Studies 1997) Jillian
Schwedler, "Islamic Identity: Myth, Menace, or Mobilizer?" SAIS
Review, Vol. 21, No.2 (Summer-Fall 2001), pp. 1-17, Joel Beinin and
Joe Stork (Eds.), Political Islam, John L. Esposito, Political Islam:
Revolution, Radicalism or Reform, (Boulder, Co: Lynne Rienner
Publishers, 1997), Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby (Eds.), The
Fundamentalism Project: A Series From the University of Chicago Press,
(1991-1995, Five Volumes), Shireen T. Hunter, "The Future of Islam and
the West: Clash of Civilizations or Peaceful Coexistence?", and Tariq
Ali, The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity (New
York: VERSO, 2002)

(77)For arguments, which see Islam and democracy as compatible see
Abdulaziz Sachedina, Islamic Roots of Democratic Pluralism (New York:
Oxford University Press, 2001), Gudrun Kramer, "Islam and Pluralism"
in Rex Brynen Bahgat Korany, Paul Noble eds, Political Liberalization
and Democratization in the Arab World: Theoretical Perspectives
(Boulder" Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1995), pp. 113-128, John L.
Esposito and John O. Voll, Islam and Democracy (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1996), Yahya Sadowsky, "The New Orientalism and the
Democracy Debate", in Joel Beinin and Joe Stork (eds.), Political
Islam (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), pp. 33-50. For
an interesting and somehow different approach see; Fethullah Gulen, "A
Comparative Approach to Islam and Democracy", SAIS Review, Vol. 21,
No. 2 (Summer-Fall 2001), pp. 133-138

(78)As mentioned before, Huntington has made fundamental even
revolutionary changes in his Newsweek article of December 2001, in
which he says here the conflict is possible but not inevitable.

(79)On unilateral- multilateral debate, see Joseph S. Nye's recent
study; The Paradox of American Power: Why the World's Only Superpower
Can't Go It Alone (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002)

(80)For instance, Shibley Telhami suggest that anti-Americanism in the
Muslim World in aftermath of September 11 is also almost an equal
reality in other parts of the world. CSIS Conference, "Conference,
"The United States, Europe, and the Muslim World: Revitalizing
Relations After September 11".

(81)On European criticisms of the U.S "unilateralism", for instance,
see William Pfaff, "The Coming Clash of Europe with America", World
Policy Journal, 15 (Winter 1998), pp. 1-9, Pascal Boniface, "The
Specter of Unilateralism", The Washington Quarterly, 24 (Summer 2001),
pp.155-162, William Wallace, "Europe, The Necessary Partner (American
Foreign Relations)", Foreign Affairs, 80 (May-June 2001), pp.16-34 and
Jessica T. Mathews, "U.S- Europe: Estranged Partners", January 11,
2002. (http://www.state.gov/s/p/of/proc/tr/7796.htm) Moreover, the
results of two polls are quite interesting to show European criticism
of perceived US unilateralism and the Bush administration. First poll
was conducted before the September 11 (August 2001) and it showed that
'overwhelming majorities of Europeans describe George W. Bush as
unilateral only with U.S. interests'. The second poll was conducted
after the September 11 (April 2002) and it demonstrated a much more
support to the Bush's foreign policy. However, European people have
been still very anxious about the Bush administration's policies and
rhetoric of 'war against terrorism' and 'axis of evil'. Large
majorities of Europeans (up to 85 percent of Germans) said that 'the
U.S not taking the allies' interests into account in its conduct of
the war on terror. "Bush Gets Low Marks in Europe", International
Herald Tribune, August 15, 2001 and "Bush's marks rise in Europe in
Europe", International Herald Tribune, April 17, 2002.

(82)Samuel P. Huntington, "The Age of Muslim Wars"

(83) Ibid.

(84)On the role of religion in international relations see;
Millennium: Journal of International Studies, Volume 29, No. 3
-Special Issue: Religion and International Relations-

(85)Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid uses this phrase. Sydney
Morning Herald, "The Clash of Civilizations?", April 17, 2002

(86)Cited in John C. Raines, "The Politics of Religious Correctness:
Islam and the West", Cross Currents, Vol. 46, No. 1 (Spring 1996),
pp.39-49 It is available at http://www.crosscurrents.org/Raines2.htm

(87)"Henry Nau, "Chapter 7:Beyond Indifference: American Relations
with the Developing World" in At Home Abroad: Identity and Power in
American Foreign Policy (Cornell Studies in Political Economy), (New
York: Cornell University Press, 2002), pp. 190-236


O formador Antono Candido

O formador
Antonio Candido , que influenciou gerações de críticos, relança seu
clássico "Formação da Literatura Brasileira" e defende o rigor e a
clareza do pensamento

Júlia Moraes/Folha Imagem
O crítico Antonio Candido, que relança "Formação da Literatura
Brasileira", na biblioteca de sua casa, em São Paulo


O filósofo Paulo Arantes e o crítico Roberto Schwarz estão entre os
que chegam a comparar sua importância na crítica literária e no
pensamento social brasileiro à de Machado de Assis na literatura.
Walnice Nogueira Galvão, professora titular de literatura na USP,
considera que o paralelo ainda não expressa a estatura de Antonio
Candido, 88.
Professor de gerações dos mais importantes críticos literários e
culturais do país, Candido acompanha há dois anos a reedição de seus
livros pela editora Ouro Sobre Azul, projeto coordenado por sua filha
Ana Luisa Escorel.
No final deste mês, chega às livrarias do país a principal obra de
Candido, "Formação da Literatura Brasileira". Editado pela primeira
vez em 1959, o livro procura dar conta da formação de um "sistema
literário" no país, nos séculos 18 e 19, a partir da assimilação de
influências estrangeiras, cada vez mais filtradas pela constituição de
um conjunto mais denso de obras, de autores e de um público leitor no
Já ali aparecia a articulação sofisticada entre sociedade e
literatura, marca do crítico. Por conta desta capacidade de análise,
os escritos de Candido também deram contribuições decisivas à
compreensão da sociedade brasileira.
Na entrevista a seguir, Candido fala de alguns aspectos de seu
trabalho, como a forma da relação entre condições sociais e obras
literárias, e a simplicidade e clareza de sua escrita.
O professor aposentado da USP respondeu às questões em oito páginas
datilografadas. Ele diz que prefere não usar vocabulário técnico ou
conceitos sociológicos por, "no fundo", não gostar "de termos
difíceis, como os que predominaram no tempo da moda estruturalista".
"Freqüentemente eles são um jeito de dar aparência profunda a coisas
simples", declara.
Ele afirma privilegiar a "organização interna" dos textos, e diz que o
estudo da relação entre a obra e o meio social deve ser feito apenas
quando "o texto assim exige".

FOLHA - O sr. usa como epígrafe de seu livro "O Discurso e a Cidade"
uma frase de Calvino, em que o escritor italiano diz que não se deve
confundir a cidade com o discurso que a descreve, embora haja sempre
uma relação entre ambos. É possível dizer que essa relação (e as
formas dessa relação) entre sociedade e literatura está no centro da
sua obra e é o que a move?
ANTONIO CANDIDO - De uma parte do que escrevi, sim. Esta frase serve
de epígrafe à primeira parte do meu livro, que trata de romances
vinculados à realidade social. Ela precisa ser completada pela da
segunda parte, que analisa textos marcados pela fantasia, de um ângulo
não-realista, e é uma frase de Verdi: "Copiar a realidade pode ser uma
boa coisa; mas inventar a realidade é melhor, é muito melhor". Um
conceito completa o outro, ambos registrando os pólos da criação
literária e, portanto, do trabalho analítico, o que me levou a optar
pelo que denomino "crítica de vertentes", ou seja, ajustada à natureza
do texto e privilegiando a sua organização interna, não os vínculos
externos. Não se trata, portanto, de impor nem rejeitar em princípio o
estudo da relação entre a obra e o meio social, mas de praticá-lo
quando o texto assim exige. Em geral tenho sido caracterizado com base
na posição que assumi no começo da minha atividade, quando era crítico
deste jornal e escrevia artigos não só privilegiando a dimensão
social, mas, sobretudo, muito politizados. Com o tempo acho que
equilibrei melhor os meus pontos de vista, mas conservei o interesse
pelos nexos sociais da literatura. Quando se trata destes, procuro não
fazer análises paralelas, isto é, descrever as condições sociais e
depois registrar a sua ocorrência no texto, o que pode levar, por
exemplo, a encarar a criação ficcional como um tipo de documento. Isto
pode ser legítimo para o sociólogo ou o historiador, não para o
crítico. O que procuro é, quando for o caso, compreender como o dado
social se transforma em estrutura literária.

FOLHA - O modo de abordar essa relação já estava plenamente
desenvolvido pelo sr. quando escreveu "Formação da Literatura
Brasileira" ou há diferenças e desenvolvimentos entre esse livro e os
ensaios que escreveu nos anos 60 e 70, como aqueles sobre "O Cortiço"
e "Memórias de um Sargento de Milícia"?
CANDIDO - O preparo de "Formação", publicado em 1959, durou 12 anos,
entre outros trabalhos. Um dos meus pressupostos era que a literatura
é sobretudo um conjunto de obras, mais do que de autores ou fatores.
No caso brasileiro, me pareceu que a análise das obras em perspectiva
histórica deveria atender tanto à singularidade estética de cada uma
quanto ao seu papel na formação da literatura como instituição regular
da sociedade. Tratava-se, portanto, de averiguar quando a conhecida
trinca interativa "autor-obra-público" se definiu e se prolongou no
tempo pela "tradição", constituindo um "sistema", em contraste com as
"manifestações literárias" precedentes. Isso me parece ter ocorrido
mais ou menos entre 1750 e 1880, entre as Academias de meio-século e
Machado de Assis. Por isso delimitei como campo de estudo a Arcádia e
o Romantismo.
Eu já tinha publicado ensaios sobre o romance como expressão de classe
e do momento, mas esses ensaios não focalizavam a estrutura, como os
que menciona. De fato, eu não tinha ainda percebido com clareza que o
essencial no tocante às relações da ficção com a sociedade era
demonstrar (não indicar apenas) de que maneira as condições sociais
são interiorizadas e se transformam em estrutura literária, que pode
ser analisada em si mesma. É o processo que denominei "redução
estrutural". Por outro lado, ainda não tinha refinado a análise de
textos poéticos.
Creio que o longo trabalho de preparo da "Formação" me amadureceu em
ambos os sentidos, podendo-se tomar como eixo os anos de 1959 e 1960.
Foi a partir de então que preparei muitas análises de poemas para os
meus cursos, algumas das quais estão em "Na Sala de Aula" e em outros
livros. Foi também naquela altura que publiquei o primeiro ensaio do
tipo a que se refere, sobre estrutura literária e função histórica,
analisando o "Caramuru", de Santa Rita Durão.

FOLHA - Há uma característica interessante em sua obra que é a de não
fazer uso direto e transplantado de conceitos sociológicos, de teoria
literária ou de filosofia na análise das obras. O raciocínio é exposto
com clareza e sem uso de recursos "esotéricos" ou "técnicos". Isso foi
uma decisão consciente desde o início do seu trabalho? O que o levou a
fazer essa escolha?
CANDIDO - Não há razão para evitar os termos técnicos quando são
necessários, mas sempre que possível prefiro usar a linguagem
corrente. Digamos que é mais um modo de ser do que uma decisão. Quando
era moço li um livro do antropólogo inglês Evans-Pritchard que me
confirmou nesta tendência. Ele dizia que a antropologia não é ciência,
mas disciplina humanística, de modo que deve usar a linguagem comum.
Foi o que procurei fazer quando era assistente de sociologia, à qual
estendi o conceito, e foi o que sempre fiz nos estudos literários.
Além disso, tenho o hábito didático de ser o mais claro possível,
reconhecendo que isto pode ser fator de deficiência, pelo risco de
simplificação indevida.

'A diplomacia Sul-Sul tem dado resultado?'

O Estado de S. Paulo
'A diplomacia Sul-Sul tem dado resultado?'
Da Redação

Carlos Pio *

A análise de uma opção de política externa jamais pode ser feita por meio de dados precisos e objetivos. Assim, é muito difícil avaliar com precisão os resultados da guinada terceiro-mundista dada pelo governo Lula.

A partir de uma orientação construída sobre percepções anti-capitalistas, anti-americanas e anti-liberais dos interesses nacionais, da dinâmica da política internacional e dos custos e benefícios das opções existentes para a inserção internacional do Brasil, o governo elegeu como prioridade o adensamento de relações com países, regiões e blocos que resistem (ou que, de acordo com seus formuladores, poderiam resistir) à hegemonia econômica, militar e política dos Estados Unidos. Nesse sentido, em primeiro plano encontram-se China, Rússia, Índia e África do Sul; em segundo, países do Mercosul mais Venezuela e Bolívia; em terceiro, alguns países da África sub-saariana e do Oriente Médio; e, em quarto, mas não menos importante, a liderança de coalizões de países periféricos em organismos multilaterais como a OMC (G-20 e G-4), a UNCTAD (G-77) e o FMI.

O país tem tentado se posicionar como líder do mundo em desenvolvimento em negociações com os ricos em torno de temas tão complexos como o financiamento ao desenvolvimento, ao ajuste estrutural e ao combate à fome e à pobreza; a liberalização comercial nos planos multilateral e regional; e a reforma do Conselho de Segurança da ONU. Nesse contexto, parece evidente que o Brasil se orienta por uma perspectiva que despreza o sentido da evolução da política e da economia internacional nos últimos 50 anos. Os formuladores da política externa iniciada em 2003 desconsideram inteiramente que o mundo caminha a passos largos para estabelecer a hegemonia do modelo capitalista-democrático, independentemente do grau de consenso que se estabeleça em torno da liderança dos EUA.

O resultado dessa empreitada apenas poderá ser avaliado muitos anos à nossa frente, quando ficarem claras suas conseqüências mais elementares. Por ora, no entanto, parece-me razoável afirmar que pouco nos beneficiamos das brigas compradas com os países ricos, especialmente se considerarmos que haveria muito espaço para estreitarmos nossos vínculos com eles, e da liderança que indubitavelmente temos exercido sobre os países mais atrasados do mundo, que desprezam a lógica implícita ao sistema internacional.

* Professor de Economia Política Internacional da UnB

André Roberto Martin*

Sim, a prioridade dada pela política exterior do governo Lula ao incremento das relações Sul-Sul está correta, ainda que talvez o próprio Itamaraty não admita, oficialmente, esta preferência. E ela está correta, em primeiro lugar, precisamente porque não exige em contrapartida o fechamento das relações com o Hemisfério Norte. Muito ao contrário, apenas coloca em termos menos assimétricos o comércio e a política inter-hemisféricos.

Raciocinemos. As relações Norte-Norte ainda podem se intensificar desde que reconheçamos a Rússia e a China como membros deste grande Setentrião, que concentra o poder militar e econômico sobre a Terra. Mas há um limite para a utilização dos recursos naturais da Rússia e da mão-de-obra chinesa a partir do qual tornar-se-á mais rentável a exploração de outras fontes ainda não suficientemente utilizadas de ambos os recursos. Aí chegará a vez da África, sul da Ásia, Oceania e América Latina, e é no centro deste conjunto que se situa o Brasil.

Portanto, enfatizar as relações Sul-Sul é não apenas abrir uma avenida de oportunidades para o comércio exterior brasileiro. Substancialmente, significa um ajuste de contas indispensável da nossa sociedade, com seu passado e sua geografia, que trará prestígio para a Nação.

Talvez porque estejamos habituados a buscar prestígio internacional sempre na bajulação das grandes potências, uma postura mais altiva de nossa chancelaria termina sempre criticada pelo pensamento conservador, como demonstração de imaturidade.

Quanto aos périplos presidenciais por países pequenos e pobres, todos acabam sendo invariavelmente tachados como enorme perda de tempo às custas do erário público. Mas o que quer, afinal, o Brasil ser no mundo? Que tipo de país queremos construir? Esta é a questão de fundo. E o Brasil, por seu peso geopolítico, pelo profissionalismo de sua diplomacia, vem conquistando paulatinamente o respeito de todos os países do Hemisfério Sul.

E agora que as questões ambientais estão se tornando dramáticas, mais uma vez os olhos do mundo voltam-se para o Brasil, porque daqui pode sair uma resposta original para o problema. Como país meridional, estamos mais aptos que os do norte a desenvolver as energias renováveis, bem como a pesquisa em biotecnologia. Serão estas as tecnologias do amanhã. Dar atenção ao sul é, portanto, olhar para o futuro.

* Professor de Geografia Política da USP e autor de Fronteiras e Nações (Ed. Contexto).


Uma exposição revisa a história acidentada e irregular das constituições nacionais

Uma exposição revisa a história acidentada
e irregular das constituições nacionais

Jerônimo Teixeira

A ilusão de que novas leis bastam para recriar o país é recorrente no Brasil. Ela se revela de maneira cristalina na história acidentada de nossas constituições – uma história que acaba de tornar-se objeto de uma mostra curiosa. Recém-inaugurada em Brasília, a exposição As Constituições Brasileiras – organizada pela Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado (Faap), por iniciativa da ministra Ellen Gracie, do Supremo Tribunal Federal – espalha-se emblematicamente pelas sedes dos três poderes, ocupando salas no Congresso, no Palácio do Planalto e no STF. Da Constituição do império, outorgada em 1824, à atual, promulgada em 1988, ela percorre todas as sete cartas que já regeram o país, exibindo quadros, documentos, fotos, itens pessoais de constituintes. E demonstra que, em sua inconstância, as constituições brasileiras refletem as hesitações e os desvios da democracia no país. A cada ciclo da história, uma Constituição era elaborada ou outorgada como o ato fundador de uma nova era. A Constituição, porém, é um marco institucional básico – não promove, por si só, revoluções sociais ou reformas estruturais. Documento de longo curso, tampouco deveria servir para responder à conjuntura imediata – mesmo assim, os constituintes brasileiros não raro tentaram ajustar problemas circunstanciais na carta maior da nação.

A primeira Constituição do país já nasceu sob o tacão discricionário: o imperador dom Pedro I desgostou-se com a Assembléia Constituinte, dissolveu-a e outorgou uma Constituição que previa, além de Legislativo, Executivo e Judiciário, um quarto poder, chamado Moderador, concentrado na pessoa do monarca. Derrubada apenas na proclamação da República, em 1889, a Constituição imperial foi a mais duradoura da história brasileira. Essa estabilidade legal tem sua raiz em uma certa pasmaceira política: o Brasil era uma sociedade oligárquica, sem grande participação política do grosso da população. É significativo que a Carta não faça referência direta ao fundamento econômico do império: a escravidão. Limita-se a reconhecer os libertos como cidadãos brasileiros.

O Poder Moderador seria extinto pela República, cuja primeira Constituição foi promulgada em 1891, em uma assembléia presidida pelo senador – e futuro presidente da República – Prudente de Morais. A Carta resultante tinha certa inspiração americana, daí adotar o presidencialismo e o federalismo (embora nos Estados Unidos vigore uma autonomia bem maior para as unidades da Federação). Estabeleceu-se a partir de então uma certa gangorra entre constituições outorgadas pelo Executivo – como no Estado Novo, em 1937, e na ditadura militar (ainda que nesta ela tenha sido formalmente aprovada pelo Congresso), trinta anos depois – e aquelas promulgadas por assembléias (em 1891, 1934, 1946 e 1988). As primeiras são instrumentos de legitimação de governos autoritários. As constituições democráticas, por seu turno, trazem sempre certa marca de irrealidade, um descompasso fundamental com o país e o contexto mundial.

O caso mais flagrante talvez seja o da Carta de 1934, convocada por Getúlio Vargas para pôr panos quentes nos conflitos abertos pela Revolução Constitucionalista de 1932. A doutrina getulista era centralizadora do poder. A Carta promulgada, porém, tinha um espírito liberal, deitando marcos fundamentais dos direitos civis e das liberdades democráticas. Uma coisa não era compatível com a outra. Não estranha, portanto, que a Constituição de 1934 tenha durado apenas três anos. Em 1937, surgia a Constituição ditatorial do Estado Novo.

Acervo Museu da Reública

Promulgação da Carta de 1988: a nova lei máxima queria mandar até nos juros

Com a queda de Getúlio, em 1945, é eleita uma nova Assembléia Constituinte, que retomou as liberdades da Carta de 1934. A Constituição de 1946, porém, vigorou em um período de sucessivas crises institucionais, culminando no golpe militar de 1964. A Constituição da ditadura, de 1967 (radicalmente reformada em 1969), fazia da "segurança nacional" sua palavra-chave. Foi o pretexto para abolir direitos democráticos e centralizar o poder nas mãos dos presidentes militares.

"As constituições brasileiras tendem a incorporar temas que são conjunturais. Não fazem uma distinção clara entre o que é uma política de estado e o que é matéria para políticas de governo", diz José Reinaldo de Lima Lopes, professor de direito da USP e da Fundação Getulio Vargas. Embalada por um ímpeto quase messiânico de restauração democrática, a Constituinte de 1988 é talvez a mais representativa dessa tendência: tentou legislar até sobre a matéria volátil dos mercados financeiros, estipulando um esdrúxulo teto de 12% ao ano para a taxa de juros. Não surpreende que a chamada "Constituição Cidadã" seja hoje uma colcha de retalhos, com mais de cinqüenta emendas. Sua doutrina de base estava equivocada: pretendia não apenas deitar as balizas legais do país, mas orientar o governo e a sociedade em todas as suas instâncias. É uma tendência brasileira antiga, reforçada, nesse caso, pelo exemplo lusitano. "A Constituição de 1988 foi muito influenciada pelo trabalho de juristas como José Joaquim Gomes Canotilho, vinculado à Constituição portuguesa de 1976. Eles acreditavam em uma Carta desenvolvimentista, que fixa metas para o Executivo", diz José Eduardo de Faria, professor do Departamento de Teoria e Filosofia do Direito da USP. "O irônico é que, na época da Constituinte brasileira, Canotilho já estava revisando suas idéias e concluindo que esse modelo não funciona em um mundo globalizado." Esse gosto pelas minúcias acabou engessando o estado brasileiro. As reformas necessárias estão sempre fadadas a esbarrar em impedimentos constitucionais.

O exemplo americano costuma ser lembrado em oposição ao brasileiro. Os Estados Unidos são regidos pela mesma Constituição há mais de 200 anos, e somente 27 emendas foram feitas ao texto original. É uma Constituição essencialista, aferrada aos princípios básicos. A história americana é outra, claro, e não há razão para crer que uma Constituição tão enxuta funcionaria no Brasil. Mas é inegável que o gigantismo constitucional brasileiro tem algo de aberrante. Ao deitar tantas leis que estavam fadadas a ser emendadas ou a se tornar letra morta, a Constituinte de 1988 acabou criando uma cultura de insegurança jurídica. A Constituinte presidida por Ulysses Guimarães deitou as bases da democracia brasileira – mas também legou entraves à sua modernização.