With some exceptions the development in the Arab world after the Arab Spring and its impact on Europe and beyond is obviously related to warfare and violence. This has led to serious consequences for the social sciences and the current debate on the issue at hand. One of the most important consequences was the reemergence of Huntington’s ideas in the academic discourse and in the public debate. His conclusions are, in a nutshell, that a) the Western civilization is superior to all other civilizations, and b) the Western civilization is threatened by the conflict between Christianity and Islam. The clash of civilizations occurs at the domestic level (‘fault line conflicts’), or between nation states or groups of the later (‘core state conflicts’).
These theses are heavily contested, as both his notion of ‘civilization’ and the different level of ‘inclination to violence’ are not accepted within the mainstream of the social science communities. Furthermore, in a normative perspective some scholars argue that civilization and violence are mutually exclusive: for example, both Norbert Elias and Steven Pinker see the apparent gradual world-wide decrease of violence as the result of long term civilizing processes. By contrast, other social scientists see violence as the constitutive phenomenon of civilization: for example, Michael Mann and Charles Tilly argue that the modern state is a product of economic, ideological and political power, hence a result of warfare and military might.
This special issue will tackle the most challenging topic in the current situation from a theoretical perspective. Social science scholars from all disciplines are invited to contribute to the issue. it will comprise the most important contribution of the annual conference of the Croatian Sociological Association as well.