CIVILIZATIONAL, RELIGIOUS, AND NATIONAL EXPLANATIONS FOR ETHNIC REBELLION IN THE POST-COLD WAR MIDDLE EAST
April 11, 2001 | Jonathan Fox
Samuel Huntington's "clash of civilizations" thesis, if nothing else, has sparked a debate over the nature of conflict in the post Cold War era. Huntington predicts that future conflict, including conflict in the Middle East, will be mostly between civilizations. However, many disagree and variously predict that conflict in general will decline or that it will continue to be fought along more traditional lines. Two traditional bases for ethnic conflict that are particularly relevant to the Middle East are religion and nationalism. Accordingly, this study assesses the comparative im pact of civilization, religion, and nationalism on ethnic rebellion in the Middle East. The results show that both conflict in general and civilizational conflict in particular in the Middle East dropped significantly after the end of the Cold War, thus contradicting Huntington's theory.