The Mesh Of Civilizations

The Mesh Of Civilizations

Bogdan State is PhD candidate at Stanford University, in collaboration with other colleagues from Cornell University, Qatar Computing Research Institute and the Yahoo! Labs Barcelona is a research lab have recently published this work where they try to prove the The Clash of Civilizations theory proposed by Samuel P. Huntington in a 1992.

According to this theory:

the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future

Within this work,

Rather than examining the relations among states, we take a bottom-up view by examining the flows of email between countries, to map global patterns of cross-national integration and divi-sion based on the structure of interpersonal social ties among the populations of the world’s countries.

The figure of this post shows the outcome of the State’s research work. It shows the relationships between the countries according to the emails exchanged between them. The color of the node shows the civilization label according to Huntington’s thesis. The red arrow points out the Spain node which acts as bridge between the Western and the Latin America cluster.

As the authors argues in the discussion section one limitation is related to the fact that they investigated a communication network (there is no necessary “clash” between countries that do not communicate, and Huntington’s thesis was concerned primarily with ethnic conflict). There are also important effects associated with common language, previous colonial relationships, as well as with Hofstede’s uncertainty avoidance (UAI) measure.

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