Open Access (free)
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.

Simon Mabon

normative environments. By doing this we are better placed to engage with the regulation of life and the subjugation of life to death. Notes 1 This chapter is a modified version of an article originally published in Third World Quarterly. I thank the editors for permission to reuse it here. 2 Ibn Khaldun, The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History (Franz Rosenthal trans.) (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1967), p. 39. 3 Charles Tilly, The Formation of Nation States in Western Europe (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1975), p. 45. 4

in Houses built on sand
Open Access (free)
Jeremy C.A. Smith

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
Open Access (free)
Simon Mabon

philosophical and practical considerations. Scholars as far back as Ibn Khaldun have focused upon the social power of religion, which, as the twentieth century developed, became increasingly important. At the turn of the century, religion was largely seen as a private matter, yet in the postcolonial period, a number of regimes used the legitimising ideologies of religion to support their claims to self-​determination. Religion took on an increasing political importance, leading to the emergence of competition between the nationalist movements of pan-​ Arabists who advocated

in Houses built on sand
Jes Wienberg

Herodotus the Halicarnassian has learnt by inquiry is here set forth: in order that so the memory of the past may not be blotted out from among men by time, and that great and marvellous deeds done by Greek and foreigners and especially the reason why they warred against each other may not lack renown. ( Herodotus I: 1, p. 3) The historian and politician Ibn Khaldûn supplied an insightful presentation of several purposes of history in his foreword to The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History from 1377: HISTORY is a discipline widely cultivated among nations

in Heritopia
Open Access (free)
Uses and critiques of ‘civilisation’
Jeremy C.A. Smith

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
Open Access (free)
Jes Wienberg

only the centre was in possession of civilisation and history. The primitive society was constructed as the “other”, as an antithesis or an inverted mirror image of the anthropologists’ own modern Western society (Kuper 1988 ; Friedman 1994 : 4f, 23f). The idea that there is a linkage between power and monuments is not new. Ibn Khaldûn thus took the view that monuments – large construction works – were proportionate to the original power of a dynasty. Consequently, the monument was intended to demonstrate the strength of a dynasty (Khaldûn 1958: vol. 1, Chapter

in Heritopia
Imaginaries, power, connected worlds
Jeremy C.A. Smith

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