Samuel P. Huntington, an influential political scientist and longtime Harvard University professor, died at the age of 81 on Wednesday, according to an obituary on Harvard’s Web site. Mr. Huntington’s most famous thesis – that world conflicts stem from the competing cultural identities of seven or eight “civilizations” – became a fundamental, if controversial, premise of post-Cold War foreign policy theory. His emphasis on ancient religious empires, as opposed to states or ethnicities, gained even more cache after the Sept. 11 attacks.
”Western intervention in the affairs of other civilizations is probably the single most dangerous source of instability and potential global conflict in a multicivilizational world.”
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