Cultural Leaders and the Clash of Civilizations
This article builds a microfounded model of cultural conflict. In this model, intrinsically motivated cultural leaders supply and interpret culture. Leaders have an incentive to amplify disagreement about cultural values. This leads to a clash of perspectives between cultures. The population benefits from the supply of culture but suffers if leaders amplify the clash of perspectives. The article discusses constraints to leader behavior and analyzes how economic factors affect the incentives of cultural leaders. Economic strength can lead to displays of cultural arrogance while economic integration between groups can hinder cultural alienation.
Pre-print version of the article can be downloaded here. Published version is available here.
Keywords: clash of cultures, cultural leaders, conflict, ethnic conflict, religious conflict, manipulation, religion.