Timo Alexander Graf The Clash of PerceptionsTesting the “Clash of Civilizations”with Global Survey Data

Table of ContentsForewordIGeneral Introduction1. “Clash of Civilizations”Previous Empirical Tests of the “Clash of Civilizations”The Need for a Re-Examination of the “Clash of Civilizations”The Need for an Alternative Outcome MeasureThe “Clash of Perceptions”Research QuestionsMethodology7.1 Proposed Macro-Level Analysis7.2 Proposed Micro-Level Analysis7.3 Experiment vs. Survey: Advantages and Disadvantages8. Goals of the Study9. Overview of the StudyII17192021232627303232333435The “Clash of Civilizations:”A Review of Theory and Evidence1. Introduction2. What are “Civilizations”?2.1 Civilizations vs. Civilization: A Clarification2.2 Civilizations: Cultures Writ Large and Imagined Communities2.3 The Nature of Civilizational Identities2.4 The Meaning of Civilizational Identification2.5 Identifying Civilizations2.6 The Structure of Civilizations2.7 Driving Factors: Culture vs. Power2.8 Section Summary3. What Does Huntington Mean by “Clash”?4. The Central Hypotheses of the “Clash of Civilizations”4.1 The Predicted Pattern of Intercivilizational Relations4.2 What Drives the “Clash of Civilizations” at the Macro Level?4.3 The West versus “the Rest”?373839394041424546484850505355

Table of Contents65. Why Should Intercivilizational Relations be Prone to Conflict?6. Previous Empirical Tests of the “Clash of Civilizations”6.1 Clash of Civilizations?6.2 The West versus “the Rest”?6.3 The West versus the Islamic Civilization?6.4 The West versus the Sinic Civilization?6.5 Critical Summary of Previous Empirical Tests of the CoCIII57606364656667Theoretical Framework:From “Clash of Civilizations” to “Clash of Perceptions”1. Introduction692. Why Should We Test the CoC with Perceptions as the Outcome Measure? 702.1 The “Clash of Perceptions” from Huntington’s Point of View712.2 The Limitations of Violence as an Outcome Measure722.3 The Global Public Sphere and the ChangingNature of Public Diplomacy742.4 The Effect of Public Opinion on (Foreign) Policy-Making762.5 The Contextual Need for Cognitive Heuristics772.6 Individual-Level Consequences of Out-Group Perceptions782.7 The CoC as a Frame and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy813. Conceptualizing the Dependent Variable: Out-Group Perceptions833.1 Stereotype Content Model833.2 Image Theory863.3 Comparing the Structure of Images and Stereotypes903.4 Synthesis914. Theoretical Framework of the Macro-Level Analysis924.1 Huntington: The “Cultural” Factor954.2 The “Realist” Factor: Power1014.3 The “Liberal” Factor: Joint Democracy1054.4 The “Geographical” Factor: Direct Contiguity1084.5 The “Historical” Factor: Cold War Legacy?1094.6 Integrative Model Proposed for Empirical Testing1105. Theoretical Framework of the Micro-Level Analysis1115.1 Integrated Threat Theory: Point of Departure1135.2 In-Group Identification1175.2.1 Huntington1175.2.2 Social Identity Theory118

Table of Contents5.2.3 Social Categorization Theory5.2.4 Uncertainty Identity Theory5.2.5 A Word on the Salience of Civilizational Identities5.3 The Intergroup Context5.3.1 Stereotype Content Model5.3.2 Image Theory5.3.3 A Brief Comment on Image Theory and SCM5.4 Direct Intergroup Contact5.5 The Effect of the Mass Media5.5.1 The Role of the Mass Media in the Sociocultural Approachto Studying Stereotypes5.5.2 Mass Mediated Representations of Intergroup Contactas Vicarious Contact5.5.3 The Attribute Agenda-Setting Function of the Mass Media5.6 Integrative Model Proposed for Empirical 5138141Macro-Level Analysis:“Clash of Perceptions” at the Macro Level?IntroductionThe PEW Global Attitudes Project 2007Measuring Perceptions of Foreign Countries with the GAP 2007Proposed Analyses4.1 Descriptive Analysis4.2 Multivariate Analysis4.3 Differences between the Descriptive and the Multivariate Analyses5. Constructing the Dependent Variables5.1 Descriptive Analysis5.2 Dyadic Regression Analysis6. Descriptive Analysis: The Nature of Intercivilizational Perceptions6.1 The Observed Pattern of Intercivilizational Public Perceptions6.2 “Clash of Perceptions” Without Core States?6.3 To What Extent Was Huntington Right?6.4 Focusing on the “Big Players”7. Multivariate Analysis: Testing the Key Hypotheses of the CoC7.1 Variables in the Analysis7.1.1 Dependent Variable7.1.2 Control 8169171171172172

Table of Contents87.1.2.1 Superpower Involvement7.1.2.2 Joint Democracy7.1.2.3 Cold War Opposition7.1.2.4 Direct Contiguity7.2 Testing Hypothesis 1: Clash of Civilizations?7.2.1 Descriptive Analysis7.2.2 Multivariate Analysis7.3 Testing Hypothesis 2: West vs. Rest?7.3.1 Descriptive Analysis7.3.2 Multivariate Analysis7.4 Testing Hypothesis 3: West vs. Islam and West vs. Sinic?7.4.1 Descriptive Analysis7.4.2 Multivariate Analysis8. Discussion of Findings8.1 Is There a “Clash of Perceptions” Alongthe Lines of Huntington’s CoC?8.2 What Drives the Conflict Potential ofInternational Public Perceptions?8.3 Is the West the “Focal Point” of Intercivilizational Conflict?8.4 Are Western-Islamic and Western-Sinic PerceptionsParticularly 83184185185187190192Micro-Level Analysis: Individual-Level Determinants ofCivilizational Out-Group Images1. Introduction2. The Survey2.1 Why Use Amazon MTurk?2.2 Who Are the “Workers”?2.3 Payment and Data Quality2.4 Ensuring Data Quality2.5 Structure of the Survey3. The Sample4. Measures4.1 Out-Group Images4.1.1 Operationalization4.1.2 Model Fit and Scale Reliabilities195196197198199201201203205205205209

Table of Contents4.1.3 Convergent Validity4.2 In-Group Identification4.2.1 Operationalization4.2.2 Model Fit and Scale Reliability4.2.3 Convergent Validity4.3 Direct Intergroup Contact4.4 Perceived Cultural Distance4.5 Perceived Relative Power4.6 Perceived Current Intergroup Relations4.7 Perceived Mass Mediated Image5. Descriptive Analysis5.1 Group Images5.2 Identification with the Civilizational In-Group5.3 Direct Intergroup Contact5.4 Perceived Current Intergroup Relations5.5 Perceived Cultural Distance5.6 Perceived Relative Power5.7 Perceived Mass Mediated Image6. Multivariate Analysis6.1 Model Fit6.2 The Effect of In-Group Identification on Out-Group Images6.3 The Effect of Direct Intergroup Contact on Out-Group Images6.4 The Perceived Intergroup Context andIts Effects on Out-Group Images6.5 The Effects of Mass Mediated Images6.6 Explained Variance7. Discussion of Findings7.1 Out-Group Images Roughly Conformto Huntington’s Expectations7.2 In-Group Identification Matters But Its Effect isMore Complicated than Expected7.3 Perceived Intergroup Relations Emerge as the Strongest Predictor7.4 Perceived Cultural Distance as an Additional Threat Assessment7.5 Perceived Relative Power Only Affects theImages of “Poor” Out-Groups7.6 The Effect of Intergroup Contact Matters, Most of the Time7.7 Media Representations Matter, Especially WhenDirect Intergroup Contact is 6237237

Table of Contents10VI1.2.3.4.General Discussion and ConclusionIntroductionIs there a “Clash of Perceptions” at the Macro Level? (Hypothesis 1)Is the West the “Focal Point” of Clashing Perceptions? (Hypothesis 2)Are Western-Sinic and Western-Islamic Public PerceptionsParticularly Conflict-Prone? (Hypothesis 3)5. What Determines the Conflict Potential of InternationalPublic Perceptions?5.1 Superpower Involvement5.2 Direct Contiguity5.3 Joint Democracy5.4 Cold War Legacy?6. “Clash of Superpowers”?7. Exploring the Social-Psychological Underpinnings of the CoC7.1 Civilizational In-Group Identification7.2 Perceived Intergroup Relations7.3 Direct Intergroup Contact7.4 Mass Mediated Images8. Is the “Clash of Civilizations” a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?9. Practical Implications9.1 Practical Implications for Public Diplomacy9.1.1 US-Muslim Public Perceptions9.1.2 China-US Public Perceptions9.1.3 Western European Public Perceptions of China9.1.4 Sino-Japanese Public Perceptions9.2 Improving Images9.2.1 Direct Intergroup Contact9.2.2 Mass Media10. Methodological Reflections10.1 Using Crowdsourcing for Survey Research10.2 The Universal Image Scale11. Shortcomings and Suggestions for Future Research11.1 The Time Factor11.2 The MTurk Sample11.3 Need for Multilevel Analyses?11.4 Greater Complexity at the Individual 8269

Table of Contents11.5 More Fine-Grained Analyses of Perceptionsof Intergroup Conflict11.6 More Conflict Out There?11.7 When Intergroup Contact is Lacking:The Power of the Mass MediaReferences11269270271273

ForewordOne of the most popular, influential, and controversial paradigms for explaininginternational and intergroup conflict in the post-Cold War era has been the “Clashof Civilizations” by Samuel P. Huntington, which emphasizes the importance ofcultural identification as a determinant of conflict. The post-Cold War era hasindeed been rife with international conflicts, many of which – from the Kosovowar, through the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, to the war in Ukraine – have beeninterpreted as evidence in support of Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations.” Sinceits first publication in 1993, Huntington’s work has been cited almost 35,000 timesand has been translated into no less than 39 languages. What is more, there is empirical evidence to suggest that the global mass media have promoted the “Clash ofCivilizations” as a popular frame for interpreting global conflict phenomena, thusestablishing its salience outside academia. Precisely because of its popularity, however, it is feared that the “Clash of Civilizations” could one day become a self-fulfilling prophecy by shaping people’s perceptions, which may translate into actions.But do people really think along the lines of Huntington’s “Clash ofCivilizations”? Are the mutual public perceptions of Muslims and Westerners truly antagonistic? Is the Western civilization the focal point of perceived conflict?What role does cultural identification play in shaping the stereotypes of cultural out-groups and foreign countries? By answering these questions, the “Clash ofPerceptions” offers not only a new perspective on our understanding of the “Clashof Civilizations” and its potential impact around the world, but it also provides newinsights into the very causes of international and intergroup conflict. Significantly,researching people’s perceptions helps to find ways for intervention and perhapseven conflict prevention.The historical and social scientific analysis of international conflict has traditionally been one of the primary research foci of the Zentrum für Militärgeschichteund Sozialwissenschaften der Bundeswehr (ZMSBw, Bundeswehr Center of MilitaryHistory and Social Sciences). However, with international relations becoming increasingly tense and fragile in recent years, the ZMSBw recognizes the need tointensify its research on current issues of international conflict and security evenfurther. The social scientists at the ZMSBw conduct important research in thisregard as they generate implications for policymakers and scholars alike. Bearingthese thoughts in mind, it becomes evident that the “Clash of Perceptions” fits theresearch agenda of the ZMSBw perfectly.With its interdisciplinary and holistic research approach, the “Clash ofPerceptions” exemplifies the social scientific competence of the ZMSBw in thebest way possible. Hence, I would like to congratulate the author on his work,

18Forewordwhich demonstrates methodological excellence and sophistication across variousdisciplines, develops a truly integrative theory, and provides a rare empirical test atthe global level. Moreover, the findings are highly relevant to many of today’s discourses about international conflict. Finally, I would like to thank the publicationsdepartment at the ZMSBw for the outstanding job in copy-editing, designing thetables and illustrations, and for realizing this publication in the book series “SocialScience Studies.”I hope that the “Clash of Perceptions” will be well received within the academicand policy communities.Captain (Navy)Dr. Jörg HillmannCommanding OfficerBundeswehr Center of Military History and Social Sciences

IGeneral Introduction1.The “Clash of Civilizations”The Cold War with its inherent logic of bipolarity and power politics had dominated both academic research and practical thinking about international relations forfour decades when it came to an end in 1989. At the time, one of the most prominent visions of what the post-Cold War era in international politics could looklike was formulated by Francis Fukuyama who predicted the absolute and globalvictory of economic and political liberalism, which was expected to herald a lessconflict-prone era in international relations (Fukuyama, 1989 & 1992). However,Samuel P. Huntington challenged this very notion as early as 1993 with an articleentitled “The Clash of Civilizations?” (Huntington, 1993), which was welcomedat first as a “useful corrective to ‘the end of history’ optimism” (Rosecrance, 1998:980). Huntington proposed the original idea that in the post-Cold War era culturein general and cultural identification in particular would replace ideology as theprimary determinant of intergroup relations in general and international relationsin particular to the effect that the relations between groups and states belonging todifferent cultural spheres or “civilizations” would be more conflict-prone than therelations between groups and states that belong to the same civilization. So, contrary to Fukuyama’s optimism, Huntington predicted a future far more conflictual.For him, the end of the Cold War meant neither the end of history nor conflict buta new era of intergroup and interstate conflict shaped by cultural identities. Statesand groups would continue to fight over territory, material resources, and politicalinfluence but the alliances and antagonisms in this new era would be primarilydetermined by cultural identities.Huntington’s proposition of a “Clash of Civilizations” (CoC) was received withconsiderable attention by academics, policymakers, and the mass media alike. Someeven went as far as saying that it “sent shockwaves around the world” (Hassner,1997: 63). Only three years after the article, Huntington published the book “TheClash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order” (Huntington, 1996),which provided a more detailed account of the envisioned CoC. To date, the articleand the book together have been cited more than 37,000 times, contributing toHuntington’s status as one of the most cited political scientists of all times.1 As well,the book has been translated into no less than 39 languages.1Citation count according to Google Scholar as of February 1, 2019.

20General IntroductionIn recent years, both academics and the mass media alike have drawn onHuntington’s ideas in an effort to explain (or frame) events such as: the terroristattacks of September 11, 2001 (Abrahamian, 2003; Kibble, 2002; Kim, 2009;Powell, 2011); the so called Muhammad Cartoon Controversy of 2005/2006 (Eideet al., 2008; Hussain, 2007; Powers, 2008); the terror inflicted upon Europeannations by the so called “Islamic State” (Poulus, 2016; Rachman, 2015); and theongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia that began with Russia’s invasion andannexation of Crimea in 2014 (Eran, 2015; Hirsh, 2014; Johnson, 2014; Merry,2014). Some even argue that the CoC presents a particularly powerful politicalmyth, perhaps “the most powerful of our epoch” (Bottici & Challand, 2006: 322;see also Bottici & Challand, 2010). And while its visibility in the mass media hasdiminished since 2004 and especially after the death of its author in 2008, theCoC “remains a significant mediated construct, providing a dominant interpretingmechanism of global conflict phenomena” (Bantimaroudis, 2015: 83). More than20 years have passed since the CoC was first published and yet “it remains a theorywith which serious engagement ought to be made” (Barker, 2013: 5).2.Previous Empirical Tests of the “Clash of Civilizations”Notwithstanding its intellectual impact and enduring popularity, however, mostempirical analyses to date have produced evidence that appears to contradictHuntington’s most central hypothesis: intercivilizational conflict is not more likelythan intracivilizational conflict. In fact, some empirical studies show that countriesbelonging to the same civilization are in fact more likely to be involved in interstateconflict with each other than countries belonging to different civilizations.2Albeit the empirical evidence against the CoC appears, on the whole, to berather conclusive, it is actually very constricted in its perspective. This is so because“scholarly work that has tested Huntington’s theoretical predictions has focusedexclusively on patterns of militarized interstate dispute, interstate and civil war”(Neumayer & Plümper, 2009: 712). Although intergroup and interstate conflictmay also find expression in countless non-violent manifestations, previous empirical tests of the CoC have focused on the most extreme and the rarest manifestationof intergroup conflict: violence.While it is true that Huntington writes about violent conflict between civilizations, especially between the West and Islam, he does not restrict his discussion(and conception) of the “clash” to violent behavior alone. In fact, Huntington does2See also Senghaas (2002) and Bilgrami (2003) on the idea of a “clash within civilizations.”

5.4 Direct Intergroup Contact 130 5.5 The Effect of the Mass Media 133 5.5.1 The Role of the Mass Media in the Sociocultural Approach to Studying Stereotypes 134 5.5.2 Mass Mediated Representations of Intergroup Contact as Vicarious Contact 135 5.5.3 The Attribute Agend