Talk:Samuel P. Huntington

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Targeted for revision[edit]

This article has been targeted for improvement by the Civil-military relations community. Inbody (talk) 23:46, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

What subject(s)?[edit]

In what subject or department were his BA; MA; and PhD conferred?-- (talk) 22:41, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

recent edits[edit]

  • I included the part about Political Order and the Brazil story, both of which I think are highly relevant.
  • I added some links, including to the two famous and controversial articles
  • I took out the references section, as it was an exact duplicate of the selected works section. It would be desirable to have some critical literature, or literature about Huntington in the references section. Maybe Serge Lang's Challenges could be a starter?bastel 05:51, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
I don't know... I looked through that Hooper article and it seemed to contain a lot of speculation to me. Tfine80 06:02, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
Of course it's partly speculative - it's the fate of the counterfactual. I used it as a source mainly for Huntington's role in the transition, which is well established. As a link Hooper is interesting as he is a fairly typical voice of liberal/progressive criticism that is uncomfortable with H's insistance on stability at the cost of other democratic values. If you find a better article than Hooper's with a similar thrust I won't object to replacing it. bastel 06:19, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

add the references back, it makes the article look unsourced. Take out the external links, if you must. --Lophoole 16:34, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Unverified things I would like to verify and then include[edit]

  • According to a former Harvard grad student, Huntington received death threats in the late 1960s and had grad students assigned to him as body guards. (Two of them are now tenured professors at the Government department of Harvard). ANswer: I can attest to the fact that this rumor is utter nonsense. Huntington did not receive death threats, and no students were assigned to him as bodyguards. What institution would assign students as bodyguards anyway, ather than hiring professional bodyguards if the danger was so great??
  • I wrote that POCS is required for most grads in the U.S. - I assume that is true for many other countries, but I don't know.

bastel 05:51, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

Biographic Info[edit]

I would like to see information on where Huntington was born (in what country) and other bibliographical facts. dpol 06:22, 29 Feb 2004 (UTC) I looked around - it's kind of hard to get any biographic info that's pre-grad school. Any ideas? bastel 17:38, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Answer: Huntington was born in New York City in 1927, attended NYC public schools, Stuyvesant High School, Yale University (BA), University of Chicago(MA), and Harvard (PhD).

Huntington was not born in Minneapolis and we don't want to be responsible for him, please change

I don't understand why Sam Huntington was removed from the category Political Scientists. He was certainly a political scientist. Can that edit be explained? Inbody (talk) 02:45, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

False Distinction: Superior Violence vs. Ideas/Values[edit]

I first admit I'm not yet well read on Huntington's work but rather am reacting to the quote:

"The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do."

This point pre-supposes that the superior values and ideas vs superior military power are independent variables as we consider civilizations.

Some may assert that the superior ability of western civilization to apply organized violence stems directly from the productivity and technological creativity, and that these in turn manifest from its ideas and values.

Huntington rather seems to want to ignore this important point, and treat qualities of a culture as objective properties rather than interacting dynamic variables.

As a pragmatic matter, superior military power derives from superior technology and superior economic productivity. In comparing cultures then one cannot treat military proficiency as independent of economic, ideological and political values. --JBaugh 16:35, 18 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Huntington has made a major turn towards culture recently, but when he wrote Political Order he probably didn't believe in culturalist explanations.

As for your second point - I think that Huntington understands organized violence more broadly then military proficency. It is about the entire concept of the Weberian state as the holder of the monopoly on the legitimate use of violence/force, which enabled Western states to become outward looking in the first place (according to H's logic that is). bastel 05:51, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

You could have a superior culture that deliberately avoids the application of organized violence. Mcgm 20:00, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

I concur with that quotation of his. I come from Poland and I don't consider myself to be part of you Western world. Remember British Empire or France in XIX century and colonial wars? Yes, sad TRUTH. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:11, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Reference re-added[edit]

A reference was removed without explanation. It has been re-added, as it was used to add content to the article on August 26th. Per Wikipedia policy, a reference must be provided when information is "gleaned from an external souce." As that is the case here, to remove the reference would put the article in copyright violation. Uriah923 17:16, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

The reference was removed again without explanation. Re-added again. Uriah923 19:50, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

Value of ON content and quality of reference[edit]

The content added from the ON reference remains in this article, but the reference has been removed. This action is disputed and a conversation is ongoing here. Uriah923 06:17, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

I don't want to play a part in the larger ON dispute, but for this page, I'd suggest to leave it at the status quo: The idea of references is to enable readers and other authors to verify information. The information taken from ON is a summary of the book Clash of Civilization. It can be verified with the book itself and can thus be left included without further reference (there might be a copyright issue, as it is almost verbatim and not marked as a quote, I don't know about that kind of stuff). The ON article, as it a) only contains one small section on Huntington and b) is, regardless of its quality, not from a major publications, should thus not be included, neither as reference, nor as source, further reading or anything else. Generally, of course, it would be preferable to take such information from the book instead of secondary sources, but I am aware that that's a lot of work and not always feasible. Thanks for your work on the article. bastel 22:55, 4 September 2005 (UTC)


""The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do."
Hello. May I have the origins of this quote. lb:User:Cornischong Thank you. --Cornischong 14:04, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

it's from Clash of Civilization, p. 51. bastel 05:13, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

What is the raw source for the 'Davos Man' quote under 'Other'? i.e. "Huntington is credited with inventing the phrase Davos Man, referring to global elites who "have little need for national loyalty, view national boundaries as obstacles that thankfully are vanishing, and see national governments as residues from the past whose only useful function is to facilitate the elite's global operations". The phrase refers to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where leaders of the global economy meet."

Better Describes?[edit]

The end of the first paragraph of the 'Clash of Civilizations' sections contains un-attributed opinion on Huntington's method:

"This cultural organization better describes the world than the classical notion of variegated sovereign states."

Could someone familiar with the text somehow caveat this statement?

  • It seems clear to me that the article is attributing that view to Huntington...nevertheless I will clarify. Christopher Parham (talk) 18:15, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Medici link[edit]

The link on the page is not to the Mèdici rulers of Brazil, but to the Medici family of florence. That could confuse some. 19:25, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

I changed it to Emílio Garrastazu Médici, who I assume the article is referring to. MorrisGregorian 03:46, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Irrelevant information[edit]

and is still required reading for most graduate students in political science in the U.S. - well, this may be required for most graduate students in political science anywhere in the world; I cannot understand why this must necessarilly be related to American students... Tonyjeff 03:22, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

He is an anti-Chinese guy![edit]

Samuel P. Huntington is absolutely an anti-Chinese right-wing White American Chauvinist!YOU ARE WRONG! I was a grad student and visiting fellow under Huntington for several years. It is incorrect to label him as "anti-Chinese" or as a "American Chauvinist." Other than his own works, Lucian Pye's works best represent many of his views on Asia, and the only thing that he against in China is the Monolithic Communist Party that does so much violence to the human rights of those poor people who sadly must live under the bloody hammer of the PRC.

Fair use rationale for Image:200px-Clash civilizations.jpg[edit]

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BetacommandBot 23:12, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Coinage: The Clash of Civilization[edit]

Before I interfere directly in the article, I better put my "revelations" here. Maybe one of the article's main authors will take care of it?

The Israeli clinical psychologist [Avner Falk] mentions in his book Fratricide in the Holy Land. A Psychoanalytic View of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, University of Wisconsin Press, 2004 that the term "Clash of Civilization" was initially a coinage by the historian Bernard Lewis.

Falk:Bernard Lewis (1990) in seeking "The Roots of Muslim Rage" towards the West, coined the phrase "clash of civilizations".
Lewis, Bernard . (1990, September). The Roots of Muslim Rage. The Atlantic Monthly, 266 (3), 47-60. quote below from page 4 of the online edition
A Clash of Civilizations
The origins of secularism in the west may be found in two circumstances—in early Christian teachings and, still more, experience, which created two institutions, Church and State; and in later Christian conflicts, which drove the two apart. Muslims, too, had their religious disagreements, but there was nothing remotely approaching the ferocity of the Christian struggles between Protestants and Catholics, which devastated Christian Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and finally drove Christians in desperation to evolve a doctrine of the separation of religion from the state. Only by depriving religious institutions of coercive power, it seemed, could Christendom restrain the murderous intolerance and persecution that Christians had visited on followers of other religions and, most of all, on those who professed other forms of their own.
Huntington, Samuel P. (1993)The Clash of Civilizations? Foreign Affairs, 72 (3), 22-28)

LeaNder (talk) 12:02, 27 April 2008 (UTC)


The main problem with the first paragraph of the article seems to be the missing link to the "Clash of Civilization" article. That means that the possible influence of Feliks Koneczny which misses a source strictly belongs there. Readers interested in exactly that publication should be given the chance to directly move there. I think a very bold action is needed.

Whoever was the author that added Koneczny, please understand and take your information there. Ideally with the necessary sources. The header confused me, a couple of days ago. LeaNder (talk) 12:58, 27 April 2008 (UTC)


I've got some major problems with the Huntington, Racism, and Nativism section. It's inflammatory and a random blog is not a reputable source. I'm not going to yank the section yet, because I'm willing to hear people out. Redoy (talk) 05:57, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

-edited for spelling

I agree with this comment. The article states that the book "Clash of Civilizations" has a "pointed nativist ideology against Hispanics". I do not see how anyone reading the actual text of the book can substantiate this claim. I would like to see either page numbers from the book to back this accusation or that references to the book in this section be removed.

Astroceltica (talk) 02:32, 2 May 2008 (UTC)Astroceltica

I pulled the entire section. According to WP:BLP, it's not appropriate. Inflammatory language, using a blog for the source, I can't see rationale for keeping it. I would like to see a serious discussion of the topic, if someone has one from a credible source. Redoy (talk) 07:30, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Good call - clearly inappropriate as worded/"referenced". – ukexpat (talk) 16:12, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

weird map[edit]

sorry, don't have time for a detailed analysis, but the map in section Samuel_P._Huntington#The_Clash_of_Civilizations does not describe Huntington's ideas pefectly. WillMall (talk) 18:41, 25 February 2009 (UTC)


A world without U.S. primacy will be a world with more violence and disorder and less democracy and economic growth than a world where the United States continues to have more influence than any other country in shaping global affairs. The sustained international primacy of the United States is central to the welfare and security of Americans and to the future of freedom, democracy, open economies, and international order in the world.

Nice Western propaganda-crap. He couldn't get more wrong. More people like this and USA will fall... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:05, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

reference number 2 doesn't contain the relevant information anymore... He's dead, and Harvard removed his bio. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:42, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

This (article content) is animal thought that needs to be controlled and eradicated soon

external link "Wars of Civilizations and Why Huntington's theory appeals to the Western Mind"[edit]

"Wars of Civilizations and Why Huntington's theory appeals to the Western Mind" at the bottom of the article - I nominate this link for deletion because: -it offers normative conclusions and opinions -cites no references -includes links that lead to wiki articles and/or more unreferenced opinions on the same webpage. -it can be argued that this link may have some merit as an example of alternative opinion or criticism on the Clash of Civilizations,

issue, so perhaps wiki readers should see it and decide for themselves.  The link just looks like someone's personal webpage/blog to me,
so I vote for deletion.

Schreiber1967 (talk) 05:15, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

further note: I would not have made this entry had the link been contextualized properly as an example of opinion, perhaps it can be converted to a footnote reference if someone feels it needs to be kept :) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Schreiber1967 (talkcontribs) 05:36, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

USA as a civilization apart[edit]

I do not understand why Samuel Huntington says the U.S. is a European civilization, certainly it has much of European, but it has its own characteristics as:

USA likes Coca Cola, Pepsi, in Europe people drink wine or beer.

USA likes big cars or SUV, in Europe the cars are small.

USA hates socialism, however Europe loves socialism.

USA is very religious, Europe not.

USA is not Europe and Europe is not USA.

I think the United States (and Canada) are another civilization, or a branch of Western civilization as is Latin America. --Rudwolf (talk) 04:18, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Ooooh, very clever. You can take a handful of generalizations and arrange them to contrast two subjects.
Unfortunately, America is distinctly European.
All settlements in Europe that later became colonies were of European origin and maintained European cultural affinity.
The Declaration of Independence was based heavily on the writings of John Locke, an English Philosopher, and by that, Continental Philosophy.
The French Revolution, in turn, was based heavily off of the American Revolution.
American national capitol buildings all exhibit homages to Greek and Roman architecture.
America has a Judeo-Christian root in the foundation of its government, as do most European nations (whether or not they acknowledge it now).
America has become a home to numerous expatriates and intellectuals from Europe (and Europe, from the United States).
The entire concept of American fashion in clothing is tied to European fashion and has evolved alongside it.
The truth is that America is distinctly European in many of its habits and histories. It is certainly a European offspring. It has marked differences, as do Australia and New Zealand, but all of these nations share distinct and discernible progress from European lineage. America has no such traceable lineage to any other culture. (talk) 03:28, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

"Citation needed": Political Order in Changing Societies[edit]

In the fourth paragraph of this subsection, someone inserted "Citation needed" after the statement that Huntington "assured South Africa's rulers that increasing the repressive power of the state (which at that time included police violence, detention without trial, and torture) can be necessary to effect reform." The statement in question is fully substantiated in the two sources cited at the end of the paragraph, by Lelyveld and by Marks & Trapido. Both sources, by the way, are authoritative. No further citation is needed. Jizungu (talk) 16:15, 18 April 2012 (UTC) I have removed the inserted "citation needed."


I don't know what Huntington's religion was, or even if he had any, but if this information is in the public record, shouldn't it be in the article? The justifications are 1) a subject's religion is very commonly put into WP bio articles, and 2) since religion plays a significant role in H's writings, his own religious orientation would be relevant context. Littlewindow (talk) 16:37, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

his "clash of civilizations" thesis and views on immigration align more with the political Right.[edit]

one should watch for an example, Bill Clinton's anti immigration speech back in 1996.. it was common sense at that time, not political right nonsense.. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:12, 8 July 2017 (UTC)

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Flat earther?[edit]

Was it true that Samuel P. Huntington was a flat earther? 2600:1:D707:D8AD:7C68:88AB:B721:8470 (talk) 05:42, 30 March 2018 (UTC)

No, he was not stupid enough to believe this. He would have been clever enough to pretend to be one, if it advanced his agenda, though. (talk) 16:44, 30 July 2018 (UTC)