The Clash of Civilizations

The Clash of Civilizations Imagery

Boundary of East and West

Huntington refers to the boundary between the East and West in metaphorical as well as literal terms. Metaphorically, he believes that the "East" (including Asian, Islamic, Indian, and Japanese civilizations) is separate from Western civilization. However, he also provides a more literal image of this boundary, as it exists between Orthodox Russia and its Eastern neighbors. He mentions that a historical boundary has existed roughly between Eurasia and Western Europe, which has traditionally been used to distinguish the "East" from the "West." Some countries have been "torn" along this boundary. For example, Russia has struggled throughout its history between defining itself as either Eastern or Western. The boundary still influences global politics today. Most recently, Turkey has been rejected from EU membership for reasons that are not entirely clear, but that seem to be connected to its historical position on the "Eastern" side of this boundary. Western Europe continues to define itself by this geographical and cultural boundary in many ways.