In the early 1990s, Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington developed his famous "clash of civilizations" theory. In it, he argued that history is driven by distinct international forces, like Islam and the west, competing for supremacy. This seemed to be illustrated by the events of 9/11.
However, delivering this lecture at the University of Sydney, world-renowned political scientist Peter Katzenstein argued that the view that civilizations comprise of homogenous racial and religious groups is simplistic and untrue. Rather, civilizations are pluralistic and highly diverse within themselves, and more likely to engage with each other than to clash.
Peter J. Katzenstein is the President of the American Political Science Association and the Walter S. Carpenter, Jr. Professor of International Studies at Cornell University. He received his PhD at Harvard University, and also has degrees from the London School of Economics and Swarthmore College.
He has written several books and articles on political science and international relations. His latest book Beyond Paradigms: Analytic Eclecticism in World Politics will be published in 2010.