Sunday, December 28, 2008

Samuel Huntington dies

Samuel Huntington, a political scientist best known for his theory of a clash of civilizations, died Wednesday on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, Harvard University announced over the weekend. He was 81.
Huntington had retired from active teaching in 2007 after 58 years at Harvard. His research and teaching focused on American government, democratization, military politics, strategy and civil-military relations.
He argued that in a post-Cold War world, violent conflict would come not from ideological friction between nations, but from cultural and religious differences among major civilizations.
He identified those civilizations as Western (including the United States and Europe), Latin American, Islamic, African, Orthodox (with Russia as a core state), and Hindu, Japanese and "Sinic" (including China, Korea and Vietnam).
He made the argument in a 1993 article in the journal Foreign Affairs, and then expanded the thesis into a book, "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order," which was published in 1996. The book has been translated into 39 languages.
In all, Huntington wrote 17 books, including "The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations," published in 1957 and inspired by President Harry Truman's firing of General Douglas MacArthur, and "Political Power: USA-USSR," a study of Cold War dynamics, written in 1964 with Zbigniew Brzezinski.
Huntington was born in New York on April 18, 1927. He graduated from Yale in 1946, served in the U.S. Army, earned a master's degree from the University of Chicago in 1948, and a doctorate from Harvard in 1951.
(Abstract of an International Herald Tribune article)

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