9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN07 Sociology of Culture

2009-09-05 15:30:00 2009-09-05 17:00:00 Saturday, 5 September 15:30 - 17:00 Cultural Globalisation Building II, C4.06

Scenarios on the Appearance of a Global Civilization

Is humanity about to know its first Global Civilization? The intensive interaction among major existing cultures would say that yes. In this case, which will be the characteristics of this civilization and who will manage to make the political unification? These are the themes explored by this paper that starts from a comparative study of older civilizations made by the historian Neagu Djuvara and continues with some future scenarios.

The first chapter explains the thesis of Neagu Djuvara, which says that a civilization passes almost all the time through some specific stages during their life cycle: incubation, formation, blossoming, fight for hegemony and imperial stage. 11 civilizations have been identified in the known human history, 4 being still alive: Chinese, Indian, Arab and Western European. The first 2 are in their imperial stage, the third is already in decadence, while the forth is still in the fight for hegemony.

The second chapter explores how present civilizations interact among themselves and how this could lead to the appearance of a Global Civilization, where all the countries of the world would form a single political system. Because the Western European civilization is the only one that has not reached its imperial phase and has the strongest expansion force, the Global Civilization might be identical with the Western Civilization.

In the third chapter are developed some future scenarios, taking into consideration possible games to be played by main competitors in the fight for hegemony. The cultural heritage of each competitor is deeply assessed.

In conclusion, the paper is exploring the chances for a Global Civilization to appear in the near future, based on the stages noticed in the development of other civilizations. The paper is also explaining the role that each existing civilization has in this process and its chances for making a global political unification.