Barbarians and Civilization in International Relations

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Pluto Press, Sep 20, 2002 - Political Science - 224 pages
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The terrorist attacks in New York and Washington have led to popular conceptions of Muslims as terrorists. Some commentators have harked back to the 'Clash of Civilizations' argument outlined by Samuel Huntington which has become a touchstone in postcolonial studies. Huntington argued that, after the collapse of the Cold War, culture would become the main axis of conflict for civilizational alliances. Mark Salter takes issue with Huntington's theory and explains how the terms of his argument are part of an imperialist discourse that casts other civilizations as essentially barbarian.Although many commentators have engaged with Huntington's claims, few have pursued the political implications of his argument. Barbarians and Civilisation offers a decisive exploration of the colonial rhetoric inherent in current political discourse. Charting the usefulness of concepts of culture and identity for understanding world politics, Salter brilliantly illustrates the benefits and the limitations of the civilized/barbarian dichotomy in international relations.

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Empire of Barbarians
A CivilizedBarbaric Europe
New Barbarians

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About the author (2002)

Mark B. Salter is Assistant Professor at The American University in Cairo. He is currently working on a history of the passport in world politics.

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