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Samuel Huntington's landmark book, The Clash of Civilizations, presented a vision of a world divided by cultural differences, national interests, and political ideologies. In The Geopolitics of Emotion, Dominique Moïsi brilliantly demonstrates that the world is nowadays more likely to be shaped by the 'clash of emotions'.
Moïsi contends that both Europe and the United States are dominated by a fear of the 'other' and by the loss of their national identity and purpose. For Muslims and Arabs, the combination of historical grievances, exclusion from the economic boon of globalization, and civil and religious warfare has created a culture of humiliation that is quickly devolving into a culture of hatred.
And as the West and the Muslim world lock horns, Asia, able to concentrate on building a better future, has come to embody 'the culture of hope'.
By making clear the driving emotions behind today's headlines, Dominique Moisi offers a better understanding of the world we live in and perhaps a more constructive approach to the conflicts that plague us.
An astonishingly creative response to Samuel Huntington s The Clash of Civilizations, this groundbreaking analysis examines political trends through the prism of emotion, arguing that fear, humiliation and hope might be as influential as the cultural, social and economic factors that breed political conflict. Shedding keen light on the limitations of the geographic and cultural determinism that currently dominates international relations discourse, Mo si uses these definitions to remap the world's political regions. Dexterously avoiding clich or sentimentality, Mo si studies how emotions interact (e.g., fear is the absence of confidence; hope is the expression of confidence; humiliation is the loss of hope that results from wounded confidence) and plumbs the roots of Asia s culture of hope, the historical humiliation feeding Islamic extremism and the long-dominant emotions in the West: a fear of the other, confusion about national identity and an anxiety to maintain global relevance. This elegant thesis presents the very real consequences of the Clash of Emotions and concludes with well-reasoned if tentative conjecture about how these currents will shift in years to come.