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By Mark B. Salter

The terrorist assaults in big apple and Washington have ended in well known conceptions of Muslims as terrorists. a few commentators have harked again to the 'Clash of Civilizations' argument defined via Samuel Huntington which has turn into a touchstone in postcolonial reports. Huntington argued that, after the cave in of the chilly battle, tradition might develop into the most axis of clash for civilizational alliances. Mark Salter takes factor with Huntington's thought and explains how the phrases of his argument are a part of an imperialist discourse that casts different civilizations as basically barbarian.Although many commentators have engaged with Huntington's claims, few have pursued the political implications of his argument. Barbarians and Civilisation bargains a decisive exploration of the colonial rhetoric inherent in present political discourse. Charting the usefulness of suggestions of tradition and id for knowing international politics, Salter brilliantly illustrates the advantages and the constraints of the civilized/barbarian dichotomy in diplomacy.

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Within the discourse of imperialism, there is a tension between the violence that was necessary to justify imperial rule and the omnipresent threat of violence implicit in imperial governance. Qxd 26/7/02 36 1:29 pm Page 36 Barbarians and Civilization in International Relations The image of the barbarian clearly illustrates this tension. Barbarians were, by nature, violent and irrational. Imperial rule, though violent itself, was rational and justified by the ‘civilizing mission’. Massacres committed by ‘natives’ were portrayed as barbaric; massacres committed by imperial rulers were portrayed as regrettable, but in the final account necessary.

The British, in their expedition to liberate Egypt from the French, were quick to publish their own account of Egypt. Thomas Walsh snidely remarks on the relative security of his own position as observer in relation to Denon: The work is accompanied by forty-one plates, including upwards of fifty subjects, most of them Drawings made by the Author with the utmost attention to correctness. Taken in perfect security, and with all the necessary deliberation; they are, at least, not the hasty sketches of a solitary traveler, who holds pencil with a trembling hand .

Popular culture was especially important because, in the nineteenth century, ‘imperialism [became] a public phenomenon – which was not the case with expansion in the preceding centuries’ – a move that was shored up by increasing literacy and state-sponsored education. 12 These representations of the barbarian international realm shaped the imaginary of European publics, which in turn supported imperial violence. The discourse of civilization/barbarians persists in the popular international imagination and its imperial roots are essential to the understanding of its later permutations.

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