Dialectics of civilizations: a cosmic perspective
Hayward Alker accepted the partial validity of both pluralistic and evolutionaryprogressive accounts of world history and politics. From this angle, he commented also on “the dialectics of civilizations.” Alker (1994) placed Samuel Huntington’s (1993) widely debated post-Cold War “clash of civilizations” thesis against the earlier and historically rich studies on civilizations by Arnold Toynbee and Fernand Braudel. Toynbee’s massive twelve-volume analysis of the rise and fall of civilizations A Study of History (1934-1961) examined world history from a global perspective. Braudel’s detailed historical study, the three-volume Capitalism and Material Life, 1400-1800 (1979), was almost as ambitious.