Civilizations in World Politics: Plural and Pluralist Perspectives

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Peter J. Katzenstein
Taylor & Francis, Aug 28, 2009 - Political Science - 236 pages
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A highly original and readily accessible examination of the cultural dimension of international politics, this book provides a sophisticated and nuanced account of the relevance of cultural categories for the analysis of world politics.

The book’s analytical focus is on plural and pluralist civilizations. Civilizations exist in the plural within one civilization of modernity; and they are internally pluralist rather than unitary. The existence of plural and pluralist civilizations is reflected in transcivilizational engagements, intercivilizational encounters and, only occasionally, in civilizational clashes. Drawing on the work of Eisenstadt, Collins and Elias, Katzenstein’s introduction provides a cogent and detailed alternative to Huntington’s. This perspective is then developed and explored through six outstanding case studies written by leading experts in their fields. Combining contemporary and historical perspectives while addressing the civilizational politics of America, Europe, China, Japan, India and Islam, the book draws these discussions together in Patrick Jackson’s theoretically informed, thematic conclusion.


Featuring an exceptional line-up and representing a diversity of theoretical views within one integrative perspective, this work will be of interest to all scholars and students of international relations, sociology and political science.

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About the author (2009)

 Peter J. Katzenstein is the Walter S. Carpenter, Jr. Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, USA. His research and teaching lie at the intersection of the fields of international relations and comparative politics. Katzenstein is widely published on questions of political economy, security and culture in world politics. Katzenstein is President of the American Political Science Association (2008-09).

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