Culture and politics: the analytical challenge of the new identity politics

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Resumé

Providing a variety of examples of the influence of culture on political processes, the article illustrates the real need to incorporate cultural analysis in the understanding of politics and
political conflict today. However, the article warns against simplistic understandings of what ‘culture’ is, and how it can be incorporated in explanatory frameworks. It seems that the notion of ‘culture’ that most political scientists and IR scholars have adopted was one that anthropologists deconstructed and left behind several decades ago.
The article critically discusses the ‘culturalist’ approach proposed by Samuel Huntington, and makes the basic criticism that Huntington conflates the descriptive and analytical levels, and hence essentialises both ‘culture’ and ‘civilization’. Furthermore, Huntington seriously fails to address the cultural dynamics that may under certain circumstances lead to political conflict.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftHistorical Processes and Peace Politics
Vol/bind5
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)135
Antal sider155
StatusUdgivet - 2 feb. 2007
Udgivet eksterntJa

Citer dette

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Culture and politics: the analytical challenge of the new identity politics. / Thomassen, Bjørn.

I: Historical Processes and Peace Politics, Bind 5, Nr. 3, 02.02.2007, s. 135.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

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AB - Providing a variety of examples of the influence of culture on political processes, the article illustrates the real need to incorporate cultural analysis in the understanding of politics andpolitical conflict today. However, the article warns against simplistic understandings of what ‘culture’ is, and how it can be incorporated in explanatory frameworks. It seems that the notion of ‘culture’ that most political scientists and IR scholars have adopted was one that anthropologists deconstructed and left behind several decades ago. The article critically discusses the ‘culturalist’ approach proposed by Samuel Huntington, and makes the basic criticism that Huntington conflates the descriptive and analytical levels, and hence essentialises both ‘culture’ and ‘civilization’. Furthermore, Huntington seriously fails to address the cultural dynamics that may under certain circumstances lead to political conflict.

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