«Clash of Civilizations» in regional aspect:
the Caucasus and the Balkans
It is the heuristic potential of the concept of “clash of civilizations” for the study of global and regional processes that is investigated in the article. The conclusion made, in particular, is that the key antithesis for the comprehension of “the clash of civilizations” is the “traditionalism-modernity” dichotomy which reflects most precisely the identity conflict of the Western and Eastern worlds conceptualized in terms of the civilization approach and not in terms of geography. It is pointed out that in the regions that are contact zones between traditionalism and modernity, the so far abstract idea of “clash of civilizations” acquires concrete empirical implementation. From this point of view comparative analysis of the processes that are taking place in such geopolitically significant regions as the Caucasus and the Balkans, is of special scholarly interest. The crisis processes that now envelop the said two regions, are systemic and protracted, by their character. In the polyethnic societies of these regions at the beginning of the 21st century, the risks of destabilization of political institutions and of escalation of conflicts, are determined first of all by the crises of macrosocial identity, by the situation of choice between different vectors of development as civilization, by destructive consequences of globalization for ethnonational and civilian cultures, by the crisis of the ideology and practice of nation-states, by “paradigmatic” conflicts and wars.
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