UDC 316


Rokhvadze R.F.

Keywords: civilizations, conflicts, Russia, states, terrorism., the USA.

Category: Sociology

Article reference:
International Terrorism: Modern War // Psychology, sociology and pedagogy. 2013. № 1 [Electronic journal]. URL: https://psychology.snauka.ru/en/2013/01/1673

View this article in Russian

Introduction. The Global Society faces many issues: natural disasters, diseases, wars, revolutions, conflicts, wars. Time changes, cultures grow, technology makes a life different, and despite these changes the Security Dilemma stays to be the urgent concern of every country. Since 20th century the nations face a new threat – terrorism.  How to defeat terrorism? Don’t be terrorized. Don’t let fear rule your life. Even if you are scared” [1].

Discussion. September 11, 2001 is one of the most dramatic points in the United States history, which caused the new movements in America’s international politics. The USA is of great significance, because it influences the global affairs. The events in the USA form the trends of International Politics. Scientists and common citizens are in the search for the answer of these terrorist acts. It will be useful to comment on some of the scientific viewpoints over the situation in interstate policies. Professor of Harvard University, Samuel P. Huntington [2] working at the project on “the changing Security Environment and American National Interests” emphasizes the reason of international conflicts as “the Clash of Civilizations” [2]. It is a rather thoughtful viewpoint, because September 11th was a conflict between two cultures, two civilizations. But it is not quite so reasonable of Professor S. Huntington to say that today’s conflicts are “not primarily ideological or economic” because of the nation of culture and civilization includes values and ideologies primarily ideological or economic” because of the nation of culture and civilization includes values and ideologies of this civilization as well as its economic interests and development. It is difficult to make a distinction between ideologies and economy and culture, because they constitute one civilization.

Ideology is another one of the reasons of international conflicts. Contrary to Professor S. Huntington, Robert Kagan [3], a senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, sees the international system of 21st Century as a resemblance of great power politics of 19th Century. His arguments have some true shade because there are countries like Russia and China which believe in Autocracy. However, they do not have the great strategic role in the Globe. R. Kagan says that the new era will be one of growing tensions and confrontation between the forces of democracy and autocracy. It is difficult to agree with this statement because after September 11th, the whole world felt the threat, even Russia after the terroristic attack in Nord-Ost and many other violent acts in Moscow made Russia rethink its international policy. This time is a time of common values and shared interests, which is why R. Kagan’s argument does not have force. The second half of the 20th century and 21st Century was quite peaceful in comparison to the past days. The US as a Giant influences the political and other affairs on the international stage and after September 11th it has new trends such as globalization, disaggregation, and economic interdependence of countries. R. Kagan is not quite right about great powers system today, because at this point of time the USA is the ONLY great power, despite the fact that it has multiple political challengers.

Despite the fact that there is a disagreement with R. Kagan’s idea about ideology, he is right about the importance of ideology today because the US and Russia have common interests in anti-terrorist movement which have become one of the important trends in international community since “terror is a world-wide disease”. R. Kagan is also right about the interest in self-preservation, which shapes approach to foreign policy. It is understandable why R. Kagan emphasizes the ideology as the return to the shifting of balance. He argues that the ideology of the most influential words powers had effect on the choices of smaller nations. The rising power of democracies in the last years of the Cold War contributed to the spread of democratization. The rise of two autocracies Russia and China may shift “the balance back again”, according to R. Kagan. There are small changes for Russia, but the Democratic Republic of China challenges the foreign economic relations and influences the ideologies of the World. The US is “a World Giant” and it understands the challenges which Russia and China produce, but solves these conflicts with them “softly and peacefully” because America needs the help and cooperation of powerful countries against terrorism and it welcomes Peace on the Entire World. Low chances for Russia and China to shift the balance can be explained by the great mismatch in political economic and social development between the United States and those countries.

Pr. Kagan was not the only scientist in International Peace investigation who stressed the ideology as an important concept today in politics. A Deputy Director of the state Department Policy, Francis Fukuyama [4], gives a big role to ideology in history and international affairs. But Fukuyama’s ideal is different from Kagan’s in the sense the former does not see today’s ideology as a return to the past, he recognizes ideology today as “the end of history” because the international community found the ideology which protects and guarantees the fundamental rights of the people – liberal democracy. America welcomes this ideology, because the Americans believe it contributes to peace. But not all countries are liberal democratic and September 11 is a bright example of the ideological conflict between the civilizations.

The Post 9/11 world was supposed to change a lot, however, the discussion of the American interests changed dramatically, the interests themselves have changed a little because the security of homeland and safety of the American population were always major national interests even before the 2001 attacks. September 11th is regarded as insufficient attention to threats such as terrorism. Today the US pays more attention and needs a help of the countries to prevent in the future.

Conclusion. One of the trends after 9/11 is that America understood it is no longer protected by oceans and it could be vulnerable to outside attacks. The United States today try to perceive themselves from other countries’ viewpoints to avoid future conflicts. This trend can help to avoid the “crash of civilization”. The trends which appeared after 9/11 are a perception of threat, national security is shattered, the need for alliances against terroristic threats. All trends are in particular ways mentioned in “the clash of civilization” and ideology. These trends foresee the cooperation of powerful countries toward the peace of the world, but there will still be conflicts between ideologies and civilizations.

It is easy to believe that in the 21st Century nations will be more peaceful than in the past because mankind has a long-term bloody history to understand that it will cost less to deter than to defeat. America today tries to use its soft power to solve the international issues where it can work. It is scientifically proven that all wars are not inevitable. Is the clash of civilizations inevitable? One is for sure: system is not perfect, because while there is a diversity in the interests of states, the Peace will not be accomplished. “Islamic killers are over here because we are over there” [5].

  1. Rushdie S. Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction. 2002.
  2. Huntington S. The Clash of Civilizations / http://www.polsci.wvu.edu/faculty/ hauser/ps103/readings/huntingtonclashofcivilizationsforaffsummer93.pdf (Last accessed date 07.01.2013).
  3. Kagan R. The Return of History and the End of Dreams. 2008.
  4. Fukuyama F. The End of History and the Last Man. Free Press, 1992.
  5. Buchanan P.J. Right from the Beginning, Boston: Little, Brown. 1988.

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