Especially since the end of the Cold War, the concept of ‘civilization’ has been frequently deployed by those who seek to describe and explain the world in which we live. The events of 11 September 2001, and the subsequent ‘war on terror’, have further elevated the concept’s use in the discourse of politics and international relations. There has, for instance, been feverish speculation and increasingly heated rhetoric about struggles ‘for civilization’ or a possible ‘clash of civilizations’, particularly between the West and the Islamic world. The term is used both to describe—and to cast value-laden judgements about—people, places, and events. It is often misinterpreted and misapplied, with sometimes dangerous consequences.In response to the revival and misuse of ‘civilization’, this new four-volume collection from Routledge Major Works meets the need for an authoritative reference work to make sense of a vast and growing scholarly literature. It brings together canonical and the best cutting-edge research to provide a comprehensive overview of the origins, contested meanings, contextual applications, and general history of this critical concept.Volume I (‘The Origins and Meaning of Civilization’) is made up of the best work from a distinguished line-up of political scientists, philosophers, historians, sociologists, and linguists. It outlines the origins of the concept and its many and disputed meanings. This first volume establishes the foundations on which much of the analysis included in the three subsequent volumes is based.
Cite the publication as
Bowden, Brett, 2009. Civilization - Critical concepts in political science, volume 1: The origins and meaning of civilization. United Kingdom: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.