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Other Social and Behavioral Sciences | Political Science | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration


In The West and the Rest, Scruton examines the clash between two civilizations: Islam and the West. He contrasts the dynamic, highly institutionalized, but increasingly decadent secular legal tradition of the West, which promotes such ideas as citizenship, corporate personality, and territorial jurisdiction, with the backward-looking but unified vision of a universal community associated with the Koran. One thing that troubles the relationship of these two civilizations today is a crisis of confidence in the West, which has produced a nihilistic, self-condemning “culture of repudiation.” This countercultural solvent has been infiltrating the flood of cultural byproducts of the West that engulfs the rest of the world, and which inspires an unstable mixture of admiration and contempt.