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Non-Western Reflection on Politics

Edited By Petr Drulák and Sárka Moravcová

Recent rise of the non-Western parts of the world makes the need for a genuine global dialogue more urgent than ever before. To take an effective part in it, the West needs to face a conceptual challenge. The Western understanding of the political world is based on such deeply ingrained concepts as power, politics, statecraft, cooperation, multilateralism, dependence, identity or human rights. The Westerners tend to wrongly assume that everyone else is bound to share these concepts. This book shows that the reality is different. Investigating African, Asian, Islamic and Latin American political thinking, the book introduces non-Western concepts of politics as well as non-Western readings of seemingly familiar Western concepts. By doing this, it points to the obstacles to the global dialogue as well as to opportunities which may be exploited.

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Conclusion: Between Traditionalism and Westernisation - Šárka Moravcová

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Conclusion: Between Traditionalism and Westernisation Šárka Moravcová In the past two decades, both cultural diversity and inter-cultural dialogue have been stressed as fundamental characteristics of the post-bipolar world. The challenging existence of diverse cultures among or within particular civilisations is not really a matter of dispute. The controversy consists in questions related to reconciliation. Is it actually possible? And more importantly, is it really desir- able? What would be the starting point? In what spheres would the dialogue take place? Finally, isn’t the quest for interculturality just another Western concept imposed on “others” in order to dominate them? The debate that started in the early 1990s between conservative neoliberals (following Francis Fukuyama) and cultural relativists (close to Samuel Huntington) was no doubt fruitful for a re-interpretation of the new global order. However, neither of the two perspectives captured the major issue in the contemporary world politics: the ongoing processes of globalisation, integration and transnationalism are trying to interconnect different actors and structures, but they fail to strength- en the mutual understanding and acceptance of diversity. In other words, the gap between growing politico-economic interdependence and socio-cultural comprehension, let alone sympathy, is deepening. In his famous article, Huntington concludes that the clash of civilisations might be overcome through long-term reconciliation efforts and by cultivating tolerance. The influence of his thought exceeds academic debates as there have been practical political efforts to bridge the differences across states. For instance, the Council of Europe adopted in May 2008 the White Paper on Inter-...

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