Global Peace and the Need for Political Recognition of Differences
Seyed Mohammad Ali Taghavi
Our era can be characterised as much by globalization as by diversity, whether cultural,
religious, and the like. Various types of conflicts within the international arena point to what
Huntington has called the "clash of civilizations". Debates on the significance of civilizational
differences in international relations have been going on, while, in domestic environments,
culture and cultural differences have been concerns of the public, politicians as well as
academics, such as political theorists. Policies such as multiculturalism and political
recognition of cultures have gained ground, in recent decades, in culturally diverse societies.
Such policies, however, complement the overarching policy of neutrality and proceduralism.
Drawing upon domestic experiences, it can be argued that international peace demands
similar attempts at political recognition of differences globally, while adhering to general
principle of equal treatment. Recognition of difference is of importance, particularly when
they are about peoples’ identity as well as value and belief system.
In this paper, first, it is discussed whether or not dialogue among cultures is philosophically
possible. Then, it is considered why recognition of differences is vital, and how it may
contribute to global peace. The political nature of such recognition is stressed. It is also
assessed how to reconcile the need for political recognition of religious difference with a
tendency towards globalization, in various areas of social life, particularly legal issues, such as
basic human rights.
Current position: lecturer in Politics, Ferdowsi University in Mashhad, Iran, since 2004.
Education: PhD in political theory, the University of Hull, UK; MA and BA in politics,
Tehran University, Iran.
Research interests: political theory, cultural difference, and Middle Eastern studies.
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