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Interrogating civilisational analysis in a global age

Contemporary civilisational analysis has emerged in the post-Cold War period as a forming but already controversial field of scholarship. This book focuses on the scholarship produced in this field since the 1970s. It begins with anthropological axioms posited by Ibn Khaldun, Simon Bolivar and George Pachymeres. Three conceptual images of civilisations are prominent in the field. First, civilisations are conceived as socio-cultural units, entities or blocs in an 'integrationist' image. They emerge out of long-term uneven historical processes. Finally, in a 'relational' image civilisations are believed to gain definition and institute developmental patterns through inter-societal and inter-cultural encounters. The book traces the history of semantic developments of the notions of 'civilisation' and 'civilisations' coextensive with the expansion of Europe's empires and consubstantial with colonialism. Early modernities are more important in the long formation of capitalism. Outlining the conceptual framework of inter-civilisational engagement, the book analytically plots the ties instituted by human imaginaries across four dimensions of inter-civilisational engagement. It also interrogates the relationship between oceans, seas and civilisations. Oceanian civilisation exhibits patterns of deep engagement and connection. Though damaged, Pacific cultures have invoked their own counter-imaginary in closer proximity to past islander experiences. Collective memory provides resources for coping with critical issues. The book also explores Latin American and Japanese experiences that shed light on the engagement of civilisations, applying the model of inter-civilisational engagement to modern perspectives in culture and the arts, politics, theology and political economy.

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agenda in civilisational analysis that will operate more closely at the intersection of past and present. Intersections of past and present Debating Civilisations began with anthropological axioms posited by Ibn Khaldun, Simon Bolivar and George Pachymeres. Each axiom alludes to perceptions of deep connectivity that pre-​date processes of modern globalisation. The three extracts in another way are anecdotes of inter-​civilisational engagement pre-​ dating the global age, which is one of the problems I pose and unpack in the book. The argument I have supported, that

in Debating civilisations
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Uses and critiques of ‘civilisation’

3 1 Civilisations debated: uses and critiques of ‘civilisation’ It is unfeasible for human beings to dwell like animals in solitude and it is a corollary of their nature to at all times seek collectivity in dwelling and abode. Philosophers enthused by this sociality, have defined this circumstance by asserting ‘humans are naturally predisposed to sociality’, and in their terminology, civilisation (Madaniyyah) consists in the sociality of mankind [sic] on the realm of earth. (Ibn Khaldun, cited in Sentürk and Nizamuddin, 2009: 67) Let us bear in mind that our

in Debating civilisations
Imaginaries, power, connected worlds

alphabetical script from the Levant are historical illustrations of the processes of transfer of cognition and communication. More deeply engaged societies can also undergo semantic and grammatical intermixing, cross-​ language fertilisation and appropriation, creative adaptation of words and concepts, and phonological transfer. It is rare for invasion and migration to not have an impact in spreading languages. The Arab tribes of the Fatimid and Abbasid Caliphates commemorated in Ibn Khaldun’s historical accounts are one example. A large example is the impact of Europe

in Debating civilisations