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CULTURE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS • What is culture? Can we use it to explain political behavior generally? • Are societies where culture plays a stronger, more explicit role in political life less “modern”? Are ethnicity and democracy contradictions? Why do Americans think so? • Some key terms: “ethnicity,” “race,” “nations,” & “civilizations” • What’s the difference between “liberal nationalism” (the idea of freedom to create a democratic state that represents people who want to be in that state) & “ethnonationalism” (states formed on the basis of ethnic ties)? Why is it worth separating the two concepts? • Where does our identity come from? Primordial (kinship) vs. socially constructed (imagined) vs. hybrid identities • Are religious fundamentalism and nationalism the same thing? Which is more important (evidence from Afghanistan and Iraq) WHY DOES SAMUEL HUNTINGTON THINK ENTIRE CIVILIZATIONS WILL CLASH? • Huntington's ideas have been hammered… so why are we still talking about them? • Cultural conflict is innate to the human condition… it remains when other sources of conflict are gone • Cultural conflict is reinforcing: you can’t change sides • Expanding kinship: Globalization, modern warfare, immigration, the media • Weakening of states: back to tribalism as identity • The weakening of the west • Economic regionalism overlaps the civilizations DOES ISLAM THREATEN THE GLOBE? A few basics • Is it monolithic? It’s the world’s second largest religion, a global religion, and a less-reformed religion (the Shias and the Sunnis) • Is it inherently violent? The basic tenets of Islam and the Qur’an: – monotheism, prophethood, – “Peace” – “submission,” & – “jihad” • Is Islam inherently anti-Christian & and anti-Jew? • Is there no separation between state and society in Islam? (shari’ ah) WHAT IS ISLAMISM? • Nationalism, post-colonialism, and the writings of Sayyid Qutb (A John Locke?) • Ijtihad (interpretation) and the new meaning of jihad (call to struggle against anti-Islamic rulers—takfir) in Muslim majority states) to deal with jahilliyah (state of barbarous ignorance) • Is Islamism in practice an anti-western civilizational movement? Or is it really localized? • Why do some Islamo-nationalist (not fascist!!!) want a massive state (caliphate)? • Is (Was) Al Qaeda a “fantasy” that was largely constructed after 9-11? What does it want? • Who belongs to the Islamic political movements: Conservatives, disillusioned, and the dispossessed at the economic fringe; Who doesn’t? Most Muslims?