From Foreign Affairs Via The A & L Daily: ‘Conflict Or Cooperation: Three Visions Revisited’

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Our author revisits the work of Samuel Huntington, Francis Fukuyama and  John Mearsheimer:

‘Yet all three ideas remain beacons, because even practical policymakers who shun ivory-tower theories still tend to think roughly in terms of one of them, and no other visions have yet been offered that match their scope and depth.’


‘Huntington’s main point was that modernization is not the same as westernization. Foreigners’ participation in Western consumer culture does not mean that they accept Western values, such as social pluralism, the rule of law, the separation of church and state, representative government, or individualism.’

‘In tune with Mearsheimer, he believed “soft power is power only when it rests on a foundation of hard power,” but he saw the relevant concentrations of power as transnational cultural areas — eight basic civilizations — rather than particular states. What Fukuyama saw as a liberal bow wave, Huntington saw as the crest of the wave, an ethnocentric Western model whose force had peaked. To Huntington, the world was unifying economically and technologically but not socially.’

and on replacing the Soviet Union with China as bipolar competition:

“The greatest danger,” he fears, “is that the United States will make no clear choice and stumble into a war with China without considering carefully whether this is in its national interest and without being prepared to wage such a war effectively.”

The map is not the terrain, yet to the maps we return, making them anew.

Also On This Site:  From The American Interest Online: Francis Fukuyama On Samuel HuntingtonRepost-Francis Fukuyama in The L.A. Times: China’s Powerful WeaknessFrom Foreign Affairs: ‘The Geography Of Chinese Power’

Are we headed toward 19th century geo-politics?:  Obama’s Decision On Missile Defense And A Quote From Robert Kagan’s: ‘The Return Of History And The End Of Dreams’

Do we try and invest in global institutions as flawed as they are?:  Daniel Deudney On YouTube Responding to Robert Kagan: Liberal Democracy Vs. Autocracy

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