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The Clash of Cultures and the Search for Security: between global power and violent extremes

Author: Prof.Dr.Geoffrey P. Nash
Journal: AL-AMEED JOURNAL مجلة العميد ISSN: 22270345 23119152 Year: 2017 Volume: 6 Issue: 4 Pages: 18-56
Publisher: Shiite Endowment ديوان الوقف الشيعي


The pursuit for international security has occupied statesmen eversince the First World War ended almost a hundred years ago, buteven with the best intentions, efforts to bring about order and stabilityin the world have still not achieved a decisive breakthrough.Peace and security – in spite of the international organizations builtup after the twentieth century’s two world wars – continue to eludeus. Previously, in the nineteenth century, world affairs were governedby the Powers (i.e. the major European States), who notionallydepended on a ‘concert’ or balance of power to maintain internationalorder within Europe, but who spread their imperial powerthrough the rest of the world according to their own devices. In thetwentieth century, the two Superpowers prevailed allowing theirproxies to engage in wars and disturbances beyond their agreedspheres of influence. Today we live in a multi-polar world, which isno longer held in check by the receding hegemony of the remainingSuperpower, and where the resultant vacuum has resulted inthe break up of nations and the ascendancy of insurrectionary andstate terror.How should we view future prospects, and what hope is there thatthe present world powers will reach an agreement that might yieldthe peace and security that we all desire? Realistically, as long aspresent circumstances prevail, we cannot expect that what in 1991President George H. W. Bush called ‘the new world order’ will beimminently established. So, according to the terminology of internationalrelations theory, we might attempt to understand internationalaffairs according to the ‘pragmatic’, ‘realist’, ‘idealist’, etc.labels used to categorize the foreign policies of states; however, theassumptions on which these terms are based rely on past experienceand we cannot assume that leaders will continue to behave asthey did over the last one hundred and fifty years, as exemplified bythe the present incumbent of the oval office.

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