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The Clash of Civilizations & Localized Ethnic Concerns in South/Southeast Asia - Essay Example

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This essay stresses that to many, Samuel Huntington’s theory of the Clash of Civilizations presents a foreboding account of the prevailing international situation. The idea behind this theory is that there are identifiable ‘great divisions’ of humanity predominantly along cultural line…
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The Clash of Civilizations & Localized Ethnic Concerns in South/Southeast Asia
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The Clash of Civilizations & Localized Ethnic Concerns in South/Southeast Asia

Download file to see previous pages... As the discussion outlines without dwelling on the justifications for and deficiencies in this theory, as a state department official this brief examines these global issues and concerns raised by the theory within the context of the localized ethnic concerns affecting South and Southeast Asia. The focus is on Indonesia, Malaysia and Cambodia. Firstly, an overview of the religious and cultural makeup of the region and existing conflicts and tensions.
This paper stresses that South and Southeast Asia including Indonesia, Malaysian and Cambodia have a variety of religions, cultures and languages. Buddhism and Hinduism have long roots in addition to earlier indigenous religions. Islam spread rapidly in Southeast Asia in the fourteenth century and later the European colonialists brought with them Christianity. Indonesia now is the country with the largest Muslim population in the world and the fourth most populous country overall. Malaysia also comprises of a very large Muslim population but also has more sizeable others. Cambodia on the other hand has retained a stronger Hindu and Buddhist influence. The cultures are greatly influenced by the religions in all three countries. Despite the multi-religious and multicultural makeup of the three countries, the different groups of people have lived relatively peacefully over the centuries. The ‘clash of civilizations’ aspect enters the geopolitical equation when we consider the strategic makeup of these countries; the Western and other interests and impacts in the region, especially involving trade in arms and oil as usual.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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