Civilisations Against the Threat of Social Barbarism

How has social barbarism become part of the contemporary socio-philosophical discourse in opposition to the concept of civilisation? How are neoliberal concepts of individuality bound up with this discourse? How does social deterioration contribute to cultural destruction and violence, and what concrete resources can civilisations mobilise to address these issues?

Proposals should consider:

  • new forms of social barbarism within and across different civilisations, including controversies surrounding individualism, secular extremism, and religious fundamentalism;
    conceptual and practical resources for renewing the best traditions of each and every civilisation;
  • building institutions and strategies for civilisations and countries to work together against the threat of social deterioration/barbarism.



The Assassination of Russia’s Ambassador and Berlin’s Terrorist Attack - What Do They Have in Common?

Alexey Malashenko

On the evening of 19 December, the ambassador of the Russian Federation to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, was shot dead in Ankara. A few minutes later, on the same day, a lorry ploughed into a Christmas Market on Berlin’s Kurfürstendamm Avenue, crushing 12 people and injuring 50 others, according to preliminary reports. The terrorist in Ankara shouted, “Don’t forget Aleppo! Don’t forget Syria!” Berlin’s barbarian killed silently. The Ankara killer was 22 years old, Berlin’s was 23. The latter was from Tunisia; he killed the original driver and stole the truck. No one has yet claimed responsibility for Turkey’s terrorist attack. ISIS has claimed responsibility for Berlin’s (frankly, I do not believe this claim; ISIS wants to be part of every terrorist act, as it terribly wants to be feared).

Terrorism knows neither East nor West

Terrorism knows neither East nor West

Ghoncheh Tazmini

Just days after the deadly attacks in Nice and Munich, Kabul fell victim to deadly explosions killing and injuring scores of Afghanistan’s Shi’a Hazara minority with ISIS claiming responsibility.

MILAN ITALY - NOVEMBER 21: The Muslim Community demonstrates against every kind of terrorism in the name of Islamic religion on NOVEMBER 21 2015 in Milan.

Religions Against Terrorism

Walter Schwimmer

A Paper by Dr Walter Schwimmer, Co-Chairman of the World Public Forum Dialogue of Civilizations, Secretary General of the Council of Europe (1999-2004), delivered at the “Religions Against Terrorism” International Conference in Astana, Kazakhstan, on 31 May 2016.

Palmyra, Syria - October 10, 2010: The ruins of the ancient city Palmyra before the war.

The Battle for Civilisation

Adrian Pabst

In my previous essay, I argued that ISIS and the Islamic State are demonic forces that pose an existential threat to civilisation. We face a battle against barbarism, not a clash of civilisations. Fighting the barbarians who slaughter innocent men, women and children is a battle for civilisation – for ancient ways of life, ancestral homeland, millennia-old traditions and different faith communities such as Oriental Christians and the Yazidi who confront an impossible choice: forced conversion, expulsion or death.


From Domination to Dialogue

The Quest for Change: From Domination to Dialogue

Edward Demenchonok

Abstract: This paper explores the distinction between domination and dialogue. It analyses dialogical philosophy, mainly in the works of Mikhail Bakhtin and some other contemporary authors, grounding the universal character of dialogue as constitutive of human personality itself. Dialogism is a fundamental characteristic of language. In its normative role, dialogism can serve as the standard for the evaluation and critique of existing relationships within a socially and culturally diverse world. It can also serve as a regulative principle in the ennoblement of human relationships. This paper highlights intercultural philosophy and its grounding of the ideas of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue. It analyses the manifestations of cultural diversity in Latin American, African and the African-American philosophies. These philosophies show the tendency to evolve from ethnocentrism to more openness and finally to inter-philosophical global dialogue. Dialogism is opposed to historical-cultural conditions that hinder it. In analyzing the historical contradiction between domination and dialogue, this paper points out its causes, such as calculative ‘instrumental reason’, colonial exclusion of the other, and the asymmetries of power. The current hegemonic US policy aiming for global domination is at odds with the dialogical and collaborative relationships of sovereign nations as equals. The paper argues for the implementation of dialogical relationships within society and in the international arena as well as for the collaboration of peoples, which is necessary to find a solution to social and global problems. The concept of the dialogue of civilisations—asserting a plurality of civilisations—orients us toward the study of intra-civilisational and inter-civilisational relationships, with the aim of fostering dialogue. The enhancement of dialogical relationships is both a condition and an indispensable means of progression toward a more humane, peaceful and just world order.