Workshop on 
“Political Science and Dialogue of Civilizations”

May 15 - 21, 2003

Dialogue of Civilizations can in certain ways be related to Political Science. As a moral-political idea, it can influence different aspects of global human life. Therefore, considering the possible impacts of Dialogue of Civilizations on perspectives and metaperspectives in Political Science (specially International Relations, Political Theory and Political Sociology/Comparative Politics), International Centre for Dialogue Among Civilizations intends to hold a workshop on “Political Science and Dialogue of Civilizations”.


  1. Metaperspectives:
    “The Political”,  “The Cultural”,  “Theory and
    Praxis”, …  

  2. Paradigms: 
    Behavioralism, Marxism, Hermeneutics, Post–structuralism, …  

  3. Theories:
    (1)  International Relations: Realism, Constructivism, Feminism, Environmentalism, …
    (2) Political Theory: Liberalism, Conservatism, Feminism, Environmentalism,
    Marxism, …
    (3) Political Sociology: Pluralism, Elitism, Corporatism, …  

  4. Themes: 
    Philia, Civil Ethics, Responsibility, Autonomy, Community,
    Contract and Consensus, Justice, Globalization, World Governance, Peace, International Ethics, …  


  1. Differential Hermeneutics and World Peace
    Abbas Manoochehri

  2. Dialogue of Civilizations & Feminist Perspectives
    Fatemeh Sadeghi

  3. The Impact of Globalization and Islamization on the Philosophy of Liberalization and Limited Government in the Islamic World
    Ahmad S. Moussalli

  4. The Relationship between the Global Common Good and the Dialogue of Civilizations
    Dr David Ryall

  5. Critical International Theory and Dialogue of Civilizations 
    Homeira Moshirzadeh

  6. Citizenship in a Globalizing World: The Role of Civilisation Dialogue
    Joseph A. Camilleri

  7. Realism, Constructivism, and the Process of Change in 20th Century U.S. Foreign Policy 
    Karl K. Schonberg 

  8. Opening onto Dialogue: Challenges for Western Political Science
    Morgan Brigg

  9. Dialogue among Civilizations, Justice, Political Thought
    Mostafa Younesie

  10. Dialogue of Civilizations as International Political Theory: Khatami and Havel
    Fabio Petito

  11. Concept of Global Saviour & Dialogue Among Civilizations
    M Ramzan Ali

  12. The Changes in the Conflictual Bases of Knowledge in International Relations
    Dr. Hossein Salimi 

  13. An International Constitutional Moment 
    William W. Burke-White, J.D.

  14. Human Rights: Integrative Generations, Integrative Dialogues
    Mehdi Zakerian

Differential Hermeneutics and World Peace
Abbas Manoochehri

Tarbiat Modarres University
May 2003

In recent years, Hermeneutics, Phenomenology and Critical Theory have challenged the status of behaviorism in Human Sciences by highlighting “dialogue” as the core of human understanding and undertakings. As such, they have provided, among other things, a mode of thinking that can unveil the cultural exclusionism and its antagonism derived from behavioral approaches such as “power politics” and  “the survival of the fittest”.

This paper pursues the possibility of peace through civilizatuional dialogue by invoking what Fred Dallmayr, inspired by Gadamer and Derrida has called “The Hermeneutics of Difference” or “Differential Hermeneutics.” This perspective is counterposed to Huntington’s speech of ultimatum in his notion of “the clash of civilizations”, that is the expression of an ultimate form of cultural exclusionism with total-global claims.

Dialogue of Civilizations & Feminist Perspectives
Fatemeh Sadeghi
PhD candidate, Political Thought, Tarbiat Modarres University, Tehran 

This essay is an attempt to clear some aspects of   Dialogue of Civilizations from a feminist point of view as it has appeared in some recent post-structuralist feminist Critics, especially that of Julia kristeva, a French but originally an outsider theorist. Although there are similarities between these kinds of theories and those on the analyses of west - east, orient-occident, and Developed and Underdeveloped countries (e.g. in Saeed’s orientalism and culture and imperialism), feminist perspectives may contribute to clarify some dimensions of these relationships, including Dialogue of Civilizations. 

The main questions that this essay tries to answer are:

If we consider the  “symbolic order ” of modern societies, including global community, on one hand and “semiotic anarchy ” (in Kristevian terms) of other societies on the other hand, is there any possibility to establish a dialogue among these cultures based on mutual understanding? Or would it be an agonal dialogue, which as Lyotard predicted  “ falls in the domain of agonistics”? And finally, in which conditions such a non- agonal dialogue would be possible without transformation and reduction of any culture into another?  

Furthermore, from a feminist point of view, it seems that “ Dialogue” itself has a phalogocentric dimension that tends to dispossess female, unconscious and marginal parts of civilizations (not necessarily women). This happened in every   patriarchal culture and civilization as well. But as is noted by some people, Marxist and feminist theorists, the mere entering of the periphery into center, or women and other marginal and oppressed groups into the symbolic order, would not be a favorable response, for, it would ignore the semiotic, non–phalogocentric, female and silenced characteristics of cultures.  

The Impact of Globalization and Islamization on the Philosophy of Liberalization and Limited Government in the Islamic World
Ahmad S. Moussalli

American University of Beirut

In this project, I propose to study the harmonies and tensions between two emerging dominant processes: a world-wide globalization and Islamization in Islamic world.  The two trends, as well as their concomitant doctrines like the role of government and liberalization, constitute the essential underpinnings of rising radical and moderate Islamist discourses on high-technologies, free economy, and democracy.  All intellectual and political trends need nowadays to deal with the necessity to conceptualize traditional Western and Islamic views on the role and ability of the nation-states to control or coerce and liberalize or socialize the economy and society. Globalization and Islamization, separately and together, have led to new aspirations, both negative and positive, about, first, the ability of Islamism to move beyond its border as a moral system, and, second, the ability of globalization to affect the political and economic systems existing within the Islamic world. All of this has led the radical Islamists to reject non-Islamist ideologies, philosophies, and technologies and to prevent the penetration of globalization into Islamic states and to limit Western dominance of the international order and organizations. 

However, and regardless of the efforts exerted, isolationism, for both globalists and moderate Islamists, of the “Christian West” and the “Islamic East” could not be maintained.  Equally important, the state’s dominant role vis-à-vis society is eroding under the hammers of, again, globalization and Islamization.  On the one hand, because globalization is by its very essence de-centralized and elusive, it has been imposing vast restrictions on the traditional state domination of the government and economy.  On the other hand, because a new culture of liberalism and limited government is emerging in the Islamic world, Islamization cannot ignore and has been absorbing it into its discourses.  

This project attempts to delineate the emerging political doctrines of both radical and moderate Islamic discourses within the process of globalization and Islamization. It is to show how both trends that have effected and will affect in the foreseeable future not only local state politics or regional relationships but, more importantly, international relations and world orders and, more fundamentally, political ideology and philosophy.   It is to start out by putting these doctrines into their historical perspective in order to explain their political consequences that have been introduced by both radicals and moderates.  It describes, first, the social and political circumstances of the political discourses of those theoreticians who advocated both isolationist and liberal ideologies; then it studies the methods used in the conceptual construction of isolationist and liberal doctrines within the socio-political contexts of contemporary Islamic movements and globalizing attitudes.  Afterwards, the research is to draw up the practical political application of these doctrines on world orders and international relations.  It also shows how Islamic discourses have been generally moving away from a totalitarian view of the role of the state to a limited one.  Thus, the issues of the need to limit the powers of the state and to liberalize the economy have been emerging as new interpretations of Islamic doctrines of political authority, social power and economic developments. 

The conclusion is to draw out the prospects of future ideological and political co-existence between globalization and Islamization through a re-conceptualization of the role of the state under a limited government, an open economic system, and international moralism.  Thus, one might find within the modern world of today radical Islamic movements that call for an authoritarian state power and a controlled economy and moderate movements that call for a limited state power and a liberal economy. Both globalization and Islamization, therefore, have been and will have a great influence on state structures and political ideologies.

The Relationship between the Global Common Good and the Dialogue of Civilizations
Dr David Ryall[1]

Teheran, May 2003

This paper examines some of the similarities and tensions between two normative approaches to international relations – the Dialogue of Civilizations, as articulated by President Khatami, and the Catholic Church’s extensive tradition of social teaching based around the concept of the common good. 

That long Catholic history of political thought continues to exercise influence, not only at the national level in many countries but also globally through the work of the Pope and the Holy See.

Indeed, given the longevity of the Catholic Church’s international presence, it is possible to identify a distinctive and perhaps unique approach to the conduct of international affairs. This Catholic International Relations (CIR) has a number of features, such as a commitment to neutrality, justice and human development that are expressions of a normative approach based on a certain philosophical anthropology that posits a set of values and ends to which a political community should be orientated. This notion of a common good stands in stark contrast to some other theoretical approaches to international relations, such as most variants of realism. In the paper, the theory and praxis of CIR is explored in order to analyse the dialogue of civilisations, which CIR resembles in being a value-based attempt to understand and structure global culture and politics.  The paper examines the kind of tensions that both CIR and the dialogue of civilizations manifest in relation to concepts such as the national interest, sovereignty, governance, international law and institutions, globalisation and conflict.

[1] It is important to note that this paper contains the personal views of the author and does not represent the official views of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

Critical International Theory and Dialogue of Civilizations
Homeira Moshirzadeh

Although “dialogue of civilizations” is not a wholly new concept, its popularity was due to its being reintroduced by the Iranian President in the late 1990’s. As a notion in international relations, it has significant theoretical implications at different levels including ontological, epistemological, sociological, and normative. It is, however, theoretically underdeveloped. Among the theories of international relations, the so-called critical international theory might be seen as one of the best theoretical context for understanding and conceptualizing the theoretical contribution of dialogue of civilizations. This paper attempts to clarify this contribution. Critical theory is best known for its emphasis on dialogue and discourse and on the way that dialogue can shape the foundation for truth, objectivity, and consensus. At the international level, these may have more specific implications both in meta-theoretical and theoretical aspects. This paper will show how ontologically this idea can alter the state-centric conception of international relations. Epistemologically, it may function as a basis for non Euro-centric conceptions of international relations. Sociologically, it is a way towards the formation of moral community. And finally it is normatively oriented towards a less-exclusionary, fairer world politics. It will be argued that in all these four aspects it is more or less consistent with meta-theoretical, theoretical, and moral commitments of critical international theory.

Citizenship in a Globalizing World: The Role of Civilisation Dialogue
Joseph A. Camilleri
March 10, 2003

The paper begins by revisiting the theory of citizenship as it emerged during the Enlightenment and subsequently evolved in the context of the western liberal democratic state. Particular attention focuses on the notion of political community, to which ‘citizens’ belong and from which they derive both rights and obligations. Critical questions to be explored here include:

The paper then proceeds to ask how well equipped these notions of citizenship are to handle the vastly altered social, economic and political conditions that we associate with the contemporary world, understood as the post-colonial world of rapid technological change, economic globalisation, and shrinking distances and time scales. The analysis here centres on four distinct but closely interconnected imbalances (psycho-social, institutional, economic and ecological) that characterise the contemporary period.  

Though still a valuable intellectual and political tool, citizenship, as traditionally conceived and applied, the paper concludes, is in need of considerable reconceptualisation. Can the religious imagination – and cultural and civilisational impulses more generally – make a useful contribution? The citizen can no longer be understood as pure universal abstraction. On the other hand, the very attempt to set the individual in a concrete religious/cultural/civilisational setting or current raises complex questions on the relationship between material unification and cultural differentiation.  

Several questions immediately arise: Can ‘civilisational dialogue’ play a useful role in addressing the imbalances identified above. To what extent, if at all, can it contribute to a global discourse that places ‘citizenship’ in a new light? Can it help to ground citizenship in a new conception of governance that is not territorially exclusive, but encompasses several layers of organisation stretching from the local to the national, regional and global, and envisages a new relationship between state and civil society? The possible contribution of civilisational dialogue to this enterprise is examined and critically evaluated with respect to five key categories: commonality, complementarity, difference, reconciliation and legitimate governance.

Realism, Constructivism, and the Process of Change in 20th Century U.S. Foreign Policy
Karl K. Schonberg

Department of Government, St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York, USA
May 15 - 21, 2003, Tehran, Iran

To be considered for inclusion in Category 3 (1) Theories International Relations: Realism, Constructivism, Feminism, Environmentalism… 

The realist argument that states will pursue their national power interest offers an accurate description of the course of American foreign relations in the twentieth century, but is inadequate in that it does not take account of the subjectivity and diversity of American conceptions of the national interest, power, and security.  Constructivism provides the means to fill that void, by suggesting that it is American ideology and identity that create the intellectual framework within which the debates over these issues occurred.  Each era in the history of American foreign relations has involved the recasting of American identity, through the reinterpretation of old ideas in new ways to match new circumstances. 

Over the course of the 20th century, consensus understandings of the world and the proper U.S. place within it have emerged from the adaptation of traditional ideology to the context of recent historical events.  Among American leaders and the attentive public alike, there is not one definition of national interest or national greatness but many, each animated by differing beliefs and assumptions about the nation and the world.  Within this spectrum of beliefs, however, certain broad themes and distinct philosophies have emerged time and again.  At moments when the world system has changed, one of these bodies of thought has gained ascendance over the others, to define a new foreign policy consensus for the decades that follow.  Though the process by which this has occurred is complex, the most important factor determining which approach to the world will triumph is its ability to convincingly explain the critical events of recent historical memory.

Opening onto Dialogue: Challenges for Western Political Science
Morgan Brigg

School of Political Science and International Studies, University of Queensland
St Lucia Q 4072, Australia
61 7 3365 3040

Recent radical developments in the natural sciences and political philosophy expose the limits of conventional Western epistemology and ontology, potentially bringing Westerners to the limit of their knowledge and their selves. Simultaneously, though, mainstream political and social science continues to engage the world through representation or the Cartesian split between the mind and the world.  In doing so, these disciplines appropriate many exclusive epistemological and ontological privileges to themselves and their principal agent: the subject conceived as a specific, autonomous and self-subsistent entity. Despite clear demonstrations from anthropologists and others that this version of selfhood is culturally specific, and perhaps even peculiar to the West, it is used to engage intercultural issues, thereby privileging a Western form. This fundamentally undermines responses to cultural difference and many approaches to dialogue including those based in liberalism and Habermasian style discourse ethics. This is because these approaches obviate different forms of selfhood and the political ontologies linked with them. In the context of intercultural conflict, the challenge for Western politics and social science is to draw upon recent radical scholarship to open onto difference and dialogue in ways that do not appropriate difference to the Same. My paper develops the above points and this possibility in the context of elaborating a dialogic approach within the institutional practice of Western thesis production to analyze and advance conflict resolution between Indigenous and Settler-European Australians. 

Dialogue among Civilizations, Justice, Political Thought
Mostafa Younesie

Tarbiat Modarres University

It can be said that the constituent parts of the contemporary / dominant background of the academic, conventional and customary conception of political thought in a contrastive and heuristic way are: subjective monologue, ego –orientation and nation-state (nationality). It is against this background that its foreground called political thought, as the subjective thinking of ego in the atmosphere of nation-state about the political must be understood.

But it seems that with regard to the fundamental role of background in relation to the foreground it is possible to provide the other one(s), and one of them can be civilizational dialogue. The constituents of the proposed background are dialogue as civil/agonic praxis, lovely other-orientation and civilizations speakers. All of these parts have specific and related meanings, sub-parts and connections with the other elements of our perspective/ Weltanschauung. But all of these will be realized in a mameutic or Socratic way in this paper.

Therefore there is a background with some parts, but for the correct relations among these parts and a satisfactory realization of this whole and also having capacity for making connection with political thought a sublime medium is needed. I think this medium can be justice because first of all it is a kind of correct and true relation among and we can understand and explain the whole and its parts by using justice as a reference. With presence and realization of this medium there will be a just, dialogical and civilizational background that is acceptable, trustable and reliable.

With provision of this background and justice as the sublime medium the intercivilizational community will go theoretically and practically toward a correct and true relation with the political thought that justice has presence in it. In this sphere justice has relation with the whole and its parts that are the political and thought. After the presence and realization of justice in political thought as the foreground we can have its relation with the just, dialogical and civilizational background and visa versa. As the result of this background political thought means intersubjective / comparative thinking (as a praxis) of speakers of diverse civilizations about just ways of living collectively in the atmosphere of transnationality.

Dialogue of Civilizations as International Political Theory: Khatami and Havel
Fabio Petito

Teheran May 2003

This paper is part of a larger project whose aim is to explore the theoretical and political challenges that the idea of a ‘Dialogue of Civilisations’ poses for the contemporary international society and for thinking about international relations. In the limited space of this paper, I analyse the emergent global political discourse on ‘the dialogue of civilisations’ by discussing the ideas of Mohammed Khatami and Vaclav Havel, arguably two of the most interesting visions of this political project. It is argued that the emergence of the idea of the Dialogue of Civilizations has to be read against the background of the two most influential images of post-89 international relations: ‘the end of history’ and ‘the clash of civilizations’ theses. Finally, I sketch the argument for Dialogue of Civilizations as International Political Theory. Here I draw on recent evolutions in Philosophy and Political Theory that try to critically analyse the western and logo-centric assumptions of our theoretical thinking and argue for a dialogical approach that is a capable to overcome the stalemate of the Communitarian/Cosmopolitan (Liberal) debate in International Political Theory.

Concept of Global Saviour & Dialogue Among Civilizations
M Ramzan Ali
Research scholar, Institute of Regional Studies
56- F, NAFDEC Complex Nazim Uddin Road
F6/1, Blue Area, Islamabad PAKISTAN
Ph 051-9202224, 9204934

The great communication revolution of the 20th century has entirely changed the human mentality. Modern man of today's information age has new and innovative thinking patterns. The paradigms of progress and prosperity are being reshaped in accordance with the new standards set by communication revolution and information technology. The information technology is managing, manipulating and maneuvering everything from politics to economics and from geography to religion.
International Relations, Information Technology and Good governance have acquired the status of separate disciplines but at the same time these are also interconnected with each other. The flood of information technology will restructure, refine and redesign the existing fabric of Governance and this process will have its own significance for the entire world. This will be the climax of human civilization when cyber space and Communication Revolution are to be culminated. The developed countries because of their technological advancement will have an edge over the developing countries. The poor countries will face new challenges and the information highways will compel them to opt for divine cum- e- government. An earnest and rational effort to understand the phenomena of e government, its applicability, its implications and the related complexities in the light of the new dynamics of communication revolution is the need of the hour. What will be the salient features of that government? Will it be divine cum human government or simply e-government being discussed and designed by the cyber space experts?  What will be the ultimate shape and impact of information technology in the times to come? What will be its social and political implications? How human knowledge and wisdom will be culminated? What will happen to regional and global security problems once the kingdom of God in Islam, Christianity and Judaism is established. The question of saviour is crucial to all religions and civilizations.

The Changes in the Conflictual Bases of Knowledge in International Relations
Dr. Hossein Salimi

The argument of this paper is that unlike the classic knowledge in international relation, which has been based on conflictual bases, at the present global age, such bases are undergoing changes towards a more concordant tendency.

An International Constitutional Moment
William W. Burke-White, J.D.

Special Assistant to the Dean, Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs, 422 Robertson Hall, Princeton, NJ, 08540
(609) 258-2139 (office)
(617) 901-0391  (US cell)
011-44-7713-157-166 (UK mobile)

To respond adequately and effectively to the threats and challenges that are emerging in this new paradigm, we need new rules. Just as in 1945, the nations of the world today face an international constitutional moment.

[FN4] In the words of British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw: "Few events in global history can have galvanized the international system to action so completely in so short a time." [FN5]

In this new constitutional moment, the world's nations must come together at the outset of a war rather than at its end. They must take account of the beginning of a new century and of a renewed tide of globalization pulling us together. Their purpose must be to complement Article 2(4), to establish an additional constitutional principle of international peace and security for a very different world.

Article 2(4)(a) should read: "All states and individuals shall refrain from the deliberate targeting or killing of civilians in armed conflict of any kind, for any purpose." No state or group can justify the deliberate deaths of civilians. Conversely, states and individuals will be obligated to make every effort to protect civilian lives and to structure their diplomatic and military actions to avoid civilian casualties.

This provision articulates a principle of civilian inviolability. Just as Article 2(4) could not itself end the use of force between states, the proposed Article 2(4)(a) cannot ensure that no civilian will ever again die in war or as the victim of a direct armed attack. The point, however, is to establish parallel prohibitions on the use of force between states and the use of force *3 against civilians--parallel prohibitions that are the twin foundations of international order.

The principle of civilian inviolability draws its strength from four distinct elements. This Essay will address each of these elements in turn.

First, it reflects a paradigm shift from "war" to "armed conflict." Second, it fuses existing legal doctrines in the areas of the laws of war, international criminal law, and the law of terrorism into a single powerful principle. Third, the principle moves the legal and rhetorical discussion from terrorism to targeting, from terrorists to global criminals.

Fourth, the principle reflects the progressive individualization of international law over the past half- century. The final Part of this Essay focuses on problems and implications concerning legitimate armed resistance to oppressive governments and the international balance of power. These questions must be addressed to ensure that the principle does not deepen existing rifts in the international system. It must serve the cause of justice as well as peace.

Human Rights: Integrative Generations, Integrative Dialogues
Mehdi Zakerian

The research assumes that the three generations of human rights have passed theoretically a process of integration. The factors that contribute to this integration are: the universality, indivisibility, interrelated, and interdependence of these three generations. The end of the Cold War, the start of a new millennium, developments after September 11th, and the appearance of a new international order after the U.S.-led attack against Iraq had helped this process. The author argues that while in theory, all countries accept the integration of the three generations of human rights; they must put this theory into practice, because it will be useful for an international solidarity.

This article asserts that the dialogue between North and South distances the three generations and stresses the differences among them. The countries of the North urge those of the South to respect civil and political rights, but they place less importance on economic, social, and cultural rights as well as the rights of peace, development, and the environment. The author proposes the following hypothesis: For taking good dialogues, we should integrate the three generations of human rights. The author combines a study of theoretical written works, survey research on behaviors of the significant players of the North, such as the U.S., EU, and Australia, in their human rights’ dialogue with the South.

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