Civilisation, dialogue, security: the challenge of post-secularism and the limits of civilisational dialogue
Review of International Studies
Cambridge University Press
1099 - 1115
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The purposes of this article are twofold: (1) to consider the extent to which Dialogue of Civilisations (DoC) initiatives, as alternative visions of post-secular world order, are likely to address insecurities that they identify; and (2) to point to other insecurities that are likely to remain unidentified and unaddressed in the process. In their present conception, DoC initiatives risk falling short of addressing the very insecurities they prioritise (the stability of inter-state order) let alone attending to those experienced by non-state referents, which they overlook. The article advances three points in three steps. First, I point to how projects of civilisational dialogue have bracketed civilisation, thereby leaving intact the Huntingtonian notion of civilisations as religiously unified autochthonous entities. Second, I argue that while contributing to opening up space for communication, DoC initiatives have nevertheless failed to employ a dialogical approach to dialogue between civilisations. Third, I tease out the notion of security underpinning DoC initiatives and argue that the proponents DoC, in their haste to avert a clash, have defined security narrowly as the absence of war between states belonging to different civilisations. Theirs is also a shallow notion of security insofar as it fails to capture the derivative character of security and insecurity.