In the Summer of 1993 Samuel Huntington published his influential essay ‘Clash of Civilizations?’ in the journal Foreign Affairs. A book followed, minus the question mark, in 1996. His central thesis: many contemporary conflicts are expressions of an underlying clash of competing civilisations – in particular a clash between the West and the Islamic world. This was vehemently rejected on the radical left for whom George W. Bush’s ‘War on Terrorism’ is merely a ruse to control Middle- Eastern oil, and Islamists are not reactionary aggressors but revolutionary victims of transnational capitalism.
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