Civilizational Conflicts: More Frequent, Longer, and Bloodier?
An academic article by Andrej Tusicisny published in 2004 in Journal of Peace Research 41(4): 485-498.
Huntington’s clash of civilizations thesis considers interstate and intrastate conflicts between groups of different civilizations to be more frequent, longer, and more violent than conflicts within civilizations. The clash of civilizations should be the principal issue in world politics after the end of the Cold War and it should especially shape the relationship between the West and Islam. This article examines Huntington’s hypotheses on a dataset derived from the Uppsala Conflict Data Project. A new research design uses conflict-years in order to deal with conflicts both between and within states. It also tries to find the ‘core’ intercivilizational conflicts. The analyses distinguish three periods after the World War II and each of them is characterized by higher number of intercivilizational conflict-years than the previous one. There are two points of transition, in the 1960s and 1980s, but the trends in the clash of civilizations seem to be unaffected by the end of the Cold War. The relationship between civilizational difference and duration of conflict is not statistically significant. Conflicts within civilizations escalate into war less likely during the post-Cold War period than during the Cold War period, while the intensity of conflicts between civilizations remains as high as in the Cold War. The majority of intercivilizational conflict-years during the post-Cold War period have involved Islamic groups. Nevertheless, the frequency of conflict between the Islamic and Sinic (Confucian) civilizations and the West remains marginal.
Read the full text article in JPR.
Download the data set.
See citations at SAGE Publications.
Keywords: Clash of Civilizations, Samuel Huntington, Andrej Tusicisny, empirical test, frequency, escalation into war, duration analysis, intrastate conflicts, interstate conflicts, West, Islam, China.