American sociologist Samuel Huntington: biography, basic work. Clash of civilizations
Sociology and political science clearly do not belong tocategory of exact sciences. In them it is difficult to find positions that have the status of immutable truths. The reasoning of the most authoritative scientists with such specialization seems to be abstract and detached from the real life of the "little man". But there are theories on the basis of which the foreign and domestic policies of individual states and global international communities are formed. They are therefore becoming relevant.Samuel Huntington is an American writer,sociologist and political scientist - author of many such theories. His books often contained thoughts that at first seemed too radical, and then turned out to be an objective commentary on what was going on.
Childhood and youth
He was born in New York in the spring of 1927, in a family,connected with literary activity. His father, Richard Thomas Huntington, was a journalist, his mother Dorothy Sanborn Phillips was a writer, and his maternal grandfather was John Phillips, a well-known publisher. The choice of a profession related to intellectual activity seems so natural. Samuel Phillips Huntington became a worthy continuer of family traditions, writing a total of 17 books and more than 90 voluminous scientific articles.
Standard for families of this level seem to beplaces chosen to get Sam education. At first it was the Stuyvesant High School in New York, then the bachelor's degree at Yale University in New Haven - 1946, then the magistrate in political science at the University of Chicago (1948), and finally Harvard, where Samuel Huntington in 1951 received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and Political Science.
The only unusual thing was that he successfullycoped with the curriculum of universities for a much shorter period than usual. So, having entered Yale at the age of 16, he graduated not in four years, but in 2.5 years. The break in his studies was short-term service in the US Army in 1946, before entering the magistracy.
Professor and Consultant
After receiving the degree, he entersWork as a teacher in his alma mater - Harvard. There he worked with interruptions for almost half a century - until 2007. Only from 1959 to 1962 he was deputy director of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting at another famous American university - Columbia.
There was a period in his life when he was closewas in touch with the current high-level politicians. In 1968, he was a foreign policy adviser to presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey, and from 1977 to 1978, Samuel Huntington served in the administration of President Jimmy Carter as coordinator for planning at the National Security Council. Many presidents and state secretaries listened attentively to his opinion, while Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski regarded Huntington as their personal friend.
The prolific writer
All the time, free from teaching andsocial activity, he devoted to writing books. They are filled with an analysis of the current foreign and domestic policies of the world's leading countries and a forecast for the development of both regional and global processes. The originality of thinking, enormous erudition and high personal qualities earned him the authority and respect among his colleagues. The indicator of this was that the leading political scientists and sociologists of the United States chose him for the post of president of the American Association of Political Sciences.
In 1979, he founded the journal Foreign Policy(Foreign Policy), which became one of the most authoritative publications in the field of international relations. He remains so today, going out every two months, publishing, among other things, the annual "Index of Globalization" and "Rating of failing governments."
The book that created the name
The first book that created Huntington's reputationan original thinker and a thoughtful scientist, was published in 1957, the work "The Soldier and the State. Theory and policy of civil-military relations. " In it, he examined the problem of implementing effective public, civilian control over the armed forces.
Huntington analyzes the moral and socialthe state of the officer corps, he studies the military historical experience of the past - first world-wide - since the XVII century, then the one that was acquired during armed conflicts in the US and overseas, where the American expeditionary corps was sent. The book also reflected the then-political situation of the cold war that had begun. The conclusion of the scientist: effective control over the army by the society should be based on its professionalization, on the all-round increase in the status of people who devoted their lives to serving in the army.
Like many other publications, this book provoked fierce controversy, but soon many of its ideas formed the basis for the ongoing military reforms in the country.
"Political order in changing societies" (1968)
In this study, the American political scientistconducts a detailed analysis of the socio-political situation prevailing in the world by the end of the 60s of the XX century. It was characterized, among other things, by the emergence of a whole community of countries, mainly from former colonies that had escaped the control of the metropolitan countries and chose their own way of development against the backdrop of confronting the global ideological systems led by the USSR and the United States. This situation led to the emergence of the term "third world countries".
This book is now considered a classiccomparative political science. And after the release, she was subjected to severe criticism from the apologists of the popular theory of modernization among Western political scientists at the time. Huntington in his work bury this theory, showing it as a naive attempt to implant developing countries a democratic path of development through the propagation of progressive views.
"The Third Wave: Democratization at the End of the Twentieth Century" (1991)
Most of the book is justifiedsinusoid character of world process of movement of the countries to democratic forms of the state. After the rise in this movement (Huntington counted three waves: 1828-1926, 1943-1962, 1974-?), The recession follows (1922-1942, 1958-1975).
The concept of the American scientist is based on the following provisions:
- Democratization is a global process with common trends and special cases.
- Democracy has a character of self-worth that does not have pragmatic purposes.
- The variety of forms of the democratic order.
- Democratization does not end at the end of the 20th century, it is possible to roll back some countries and attack in the next century the 4th wave.
Theory of Civilizations
The book "The Collision of Civilizations" (1993) madeHuntington's name is famous throughout the world, provoking especially fierce controversy that went beyond the borders of the United States. According to the scientist, in the coming XXI century the defining for the world order will be the interaction of different cultures or civilizations, formed by the commonality of languages and life styles.
In addition to Western civilization, Huntingtonthere are eight more such entities: the Slavonic Orthodox headed by Russia, the Japanese, the Buddhist, Hindu, Latin American, African, Sino (Chinese) and the civilization of Islam. The boundaries of these formations the scientist assigns the role of the main lines of future conflicts.
Tragedy as an argument in the debate
After releasing in three years the book "Collisioncivilizations and the reorganization of the world order, "the writer raised the heat of discussion about his theory even higher. In the events of the tragic day of September 11, 2001, many, especially Americans, saw additional confirmation of the correctness of the predictions of the famous political scientist, the personification of the confrontation of different civilizations that had begun.
Although many political scientists report negativeto the theory of Huntington from the academic circles of the United States, there is an opinion that after the terrorist attacks, accompanied by Islamic slogans, swept the world, the "theory of civilizations" is finally adopted by the ruling circles of the United States.
Happy family man
A man who speaks on the pages of his bookssometimes very resolute and able to persistently and unswervingly defend his opinion in public disputes, Samuel Huntington in everyday life was very modest and balanced. He lived more than half a century with his wife Nancy, having raised two sons and four grandchildren.
The last major work of the scientist was published in2004. In the book "Who are we? The Challenges of American National Identity," he analyzes the origins and signs of this notion and tries to predict what problems await the national identity of Americans in the future.
In 2007, Huntington was forced to finishHis professorship at Harvard in connection with the deterioration of health due to complications on the background of diabetes. He worked at his desk until the last day, until the end of December 2008, he died in the town of Martas-Vinyard in Massachusetts.
There was a point in his earthly existence, but the discussions generated by his books around the world will not cease for a very long time.