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Terrorism, religion, and globalization: Samuel Huntington speaks at the Athens Forum

Harvard Professor Samuel Huntington, renowned scholar and author of The Clash of Civilizations, delivered the 3rd Annual Kokkalis Foundation Forum lecture at the Athens Concert Hall on June 18, 2002. Over 650 individuals from Greece, Europe, and the US attended the event, including numerous Greek and international personalities, members of parliament, academics, businesspeople, foreign ambassadors as well as 60 alumni of the Kokkalis Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Dr. Huntington was introduced by the Kokkalis Foundation’s President, Socrates Kokkalis, by the Foundation’s Vice President, Mrs. Tzavella, and by the Senior Associate Dean of Strategy and External Affairs of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Holly Taylor Sargent. Dr. Huntington noted that the Kokkalis Foundation and the Kokkalis Program have an important and constructive impact, since building bridges is crucial to avoiding a violent clash of civilizations. He addressed the audience on contemporary issues of terrorism, religion, and globalization. Dr. Huntington described the basic political changes that have taken place following the end of the Cold War and laid out his vision for future developments in a world he described as uni-multipolar. He stressed that while the USA will dominate as superpower for many decades to come, European unification, the economic development of China and India, and Russia’s possible recovery will probably lead the world towards a multi-polar system. Alluding to the 9/11 events, he expressed reservations as to the scope of their impact in the international system and instead placed particular emphasis on the dramatic developments of the previous decade in Eastern Europe. Economic development, the availability and sufficiency of energy and water resources, and the uneven distribution of wealth, Dr. Huntington argued, will be the main driving sources of change in the next decades.



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