CULTURE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS What is culture? Can we use it to explain political behavior generally? Are societies where culture plays a stronger, more explicit role in political life less “modern”? Are ethnicity and democracy contradictions? Why do Americans think so? Some key terms: “ethnicity,” “race,” “nations,” & “civilizations” What’s the difference between “liberal nationalism” (the idea of freedom to create a democratic state that represents people who want to be in that state) & “ethnonationalism” (states formed on the basis of ethnic ties)? Why is it worth separating the two concepts? Where does our identity come from? Primordial (kinship) vs. socially constructed (imagined) vs. hybrid identities Are religious fundamentalism and nationalism the same thing? Which is more important (evidence from Afghanistan and Iraq)
WHY DOES SAMUEL HUNTINGTON THINK ENTIRE CIVILIZATIONS WILL CLASH? Huntington's ideas have been hammered… so why are we still talking about them? Cultural conflict is innate to the human condition… it remains when other sources of conflict are gone Cultural conflict is reinforcing: you can’t change sides Expanding kinship: Globalization, modern warfare, immigration, the media Weakening of states: back to tribalism as identity The weakening of the west Economic regionalism overlaps the civilizations
DOES ISLAM THREATEN THE GLOBE? A few basics Is it monolithic? It’s the world’s second largest religion, a global religion, and a less-reformed religion (the Shias and the Sunnis) Is it inherently violent? The basic tenets of Islam and the Qur’an: monotheism, prophethood, “Peace” “submission,” & “jihad” Is Islam inherently anti-Christian & and anti-Jew? Is there no separation between state and society in Islam? (shari’ ah)
WHAT IS ISLAMISM? Nationalism, post-colonialism, and the writings of Sayyid Qutb (A John Locke?) Ijtihad (interpretation) and the new meaning of jihad (call to struggle against anti-Islamic rulers—takfir) in Muslim majority states) to deal with jahilliyah (state of barbarous ignorance) Is Islamism in practice an anti-western civilizational movement? Or is it really localized? Why do some Islamo-nationalist (not fascist!!!) want a massive state (caliphate)? Is (Was) Al Qaeda a “fantasy” that was largely constructed after 9-11? What does it want? Who belongs to the Islamic political movements: Conservatives, disillusioned, and the dispossessed at the economic fringe; Who doesn’t? Most Muslims?