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After Babel: Dialogue, Difference and Demons

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In 1998, Muhammad Khatami, at the time President of Iran, gave an interview to CNN. In this interview Khatami attempted to appeal to the American people as a way of bypassing the policy of containment of Iran. Khatami used the work of Tocqueville to demonstrate homology between principles that underlay the foundation of both the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. More generally, Khatami hoped that a dialogue of civilizations would replace the idea of a ‘clash of civilizations'. In this paper, using Khatami's intervention as an example, I examine the possibility of conversation of civilizations as antidote to their clash.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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