Gautam Ghosh


fascism, self-determination, barbarism, social civilization, economic civilization, legal civilization, “clash of civilization, ” “end of history”


This article – the first of two – elaborates and endorses the understanding of civilization as advanced by R. G. Collingwood. Particular attention is given to two of his most neglected works, The New Leviathan and "What 'Civilization' Means." The New Leviathan in particular was written in the context of the rise of fascism and the prosecution of World War II. To support the war effort, Collingwood reconceptualized notions of civilization and linked it to a rationality of self-determination. Central to his argument are the distinctions he draws between civilization and barbarism, on the one hand, and between social, economic and legal civilization and their protean interrelationships, on the other.