The world order of the future will be based along cultural lines, said Samuel P. Huntington, Weatherhead university professor, speaking to an audience of about 300 at Lowell Lecture Hall last night.
Huntington, who spoke on his latest book, "The Clash of Civilizations," was the first speaker in a series of lectures to be sponsored by the Wood-bridge Society, a group that tries to foster dialogue between international students and other members of the Harvard community, according to Manjari S. Mahajan '98, president of the Society.
Huntington's book is based on an article of the same name published in the Foreign Policy Journal three years ago, according to Roderick MacFarquhar, Williams professor of history and political science, who introduced the speaker.
The thesis of the article is that the world is having an "identity crisis" and that the new order to emerge from the crisis will be "organized along cultural, not economic lines," Huntington said.
Although former president Richard Nixon has lauded his work, Huntington said he has received "more disagreement than accordance" from other readers of his book who disagree with his controversial views.
Huntington said new cultural groupings will be the next superpowers, or "civilizations," as he referred to them in his speech. Ethnic conflicts will continue to be pervasive, especially along the "bloody borders of Islam" Huntington said.
The Islamic world will, at the same time, wield more power due to its continued demographic explosion, and the West will continue its slowdown.
Huntington said he believes that future coalitions among civilizations will be along cultural lines.
"The success of such [alliances] will rest upon common culture," Huntington said.