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June 19 , 2008

The Geopolitics of Emotion

How Cultures of Fear, Humiliation and Hope are Reshaping the World


Samuel Huntington's landmark book, The Clash of Civilizations, presented a vision of a world divided by cultural differences, national interests, and political ideologies. In The Geopolitics of Emotion, Dominique Moïsi brilliantly demonstrates that the world is nowadays more likely to be shaped by the 'clash of emotions'.

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Moïsi contends that both Europe and the United States are dominated by a fear of the 'other' and by the loss of their national identity and purpose. For Muslims and Arabs, the combination of historical grievances, exclusion from the economic boon of globalization, and civil and religious warfare has created a culture of humiliation that is quickly devolving into a culture of hatred.

And as the West and the Muslim world lock horns, Asia, able to concentrate on building a better future, has come to embody 'the culture of hope'.

By making clear the driving emotions behind today's headlines, Dominique Moisi offers a better understanding of the world we live in and perhaps a more constructive approach to the conflicts that plague us.

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