By Johann P. Arnason
The turning out to be curiosity in civilizations, either at the point of political controversy ("the conflict of civilizations") and within the context of scholarly debates, demands extra theoretical mirrored image at the difficulties and views crucial to this box of social inquiry. This quantity encompasses a systematic and significant survey of classical and modern ways to comparative civilizational research. It is going directly to define a theoretical version that attracts at the paintings of ancient sociologists in addition to on comparative cultural and highbrow. Civilizations are analysed as multi-dimensional formations, with specific emphasis on cultural orientations, but additionally at the independent dynamics of political and fiscal associations. The final bankruptcy applies this line of argument to questions raised by way of critics of Eurocentrism and discusses the strengths and weaknesses of post-colonial conception.
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Additional resources for Civilizations in Dispute: Historical Questions and Theoretical Traditions (International Comparative Social Studies)
Here the limitations of Parsons’ concessions to civilizational analysis become starkly visible: his frame of reference excludes any perception of medieval Europe as an original civilization in its own right (this is, as we shall see, a crucial issue for the debate on civilizational sources of modernity). e. through the fragments of older institutions that survived inside it). To sum up, Parsons’ limited and implicit use of civilizational theory has to do with the distinctive pluralism of European traditions.
The objections raised against Confucian interpretations of the East Asian region are varied and often irrelevant to our purposes; here we can only brieﬂy consider those that have to do with the question of civilizational components of modernity. Historical research has highlighted the diﬀerent trajectories of Confucian traditions in the core countries of the region (China, Korea and Japan), due in large part to the varying patterns of interaction with other forces, and reﬂected in diﬀerent reactions to the encounter with advanced modernity; in particular, strong arguments have been levelled against the view that the early modern period (from the seventeenth to the mid-nineteenth century) was marked by a regional shift towards a more uniform and orthodox Confucian culture (on the crucial Japanese case, cf.
Third, the diﬀerences and potential clashes between these multiple traditions fused with internal tensions and antinomies of modernity and exacerbated the conﬂicts which mark its trajectory. To conclude this discussion, a brief mention should be made of some recent trends in historical research; they conﬁrm the civilizational 32 perspective outlined above, although the results have yet to be assimilated by theorists in the ﬁeld. As noted in a recent contribution to the debate, ‘specialists in the history of north-western Europe in the eleventh and twelfth centuries are increasingly treating it as that of the emergence of a new civilization in what had previously been a peripheral region of the Mediterranean-based civilization of the classical west, rather than as a continuation or revival of that civilization itself ’ (Moore, 1997: 583).