The World in Transition: Between Modernism and Post-Modernism

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Güntay V.

in: Contemporary Issues in International Relations, Erendor M. E.,Öztarsu M. F., Editor, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, pp.290-308, 2020

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
  • City: Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
  • Page Numbers: pp.290-308
  • Editors: Erendor M. E.,Öztarsu M. F., Editor
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: No


Especially after the beginning of Renaissance and with its all components, history has been discussing the concept of modernism. Meanwhile for the historians and political scientists, world is in transition and some of the societies have understood modernism in a wrong way. Science calls this misunderstood as a postmodernism. Modernism became a great social movement since it was believed that the truth we found would help to make a new world. Postmodernism and today’s scientific rules are in transition indeed.

It will be wrong to focus on postmodernism and poststructuralism without understanding the modern thought and philosophy that postmodernism has directed the arrows of criticism. According to the studies made within the framework of Foucault’s views, it is possible to evaluate modernism in the 18th century, starting with enlightenment, until the first half of the 20th century. The basic concepts of this period were rationality, sovereignty, logic, scientific and universal truths, systematic thinking and positivism. It is based on the principles of enlightenment in modernism. In this context, mind and science are seen as means of progress; the basic argument that objective and universal knowledge can be reached through reason and experiment. The political and cultural characteristics of modernism are progressive history, religious political and social life. But in general terms, postmodernism can be regarded as the continuation of modernism.It can be seen from the historical perspective that the experiences related to the failure to reach the perfection of modernism in the birth of postmodernism have an important place in the experience. Looking at the political history, the 20th century has been the scene of two major world wars, oppressive regimes such as socialism and fascism, colonial initiatives, a visible standardization in the form of life, and global warming and similar ecological problems that are now threatening the future of humanity.

In this context, the conditions that reveal modernism; the changes in the social and political structure with the industrial revolution and the ideologies such as democracy and humanism dominate the world; postmodernism conditions can be listed as second world war, right-wing competition, developing world economy, liberal democracy, capitalism and technological developments. These changes in the 20th century brought about a new world order. It is seen that the reflection of this new world order in the field of thought is the source of the postmodern world view. Modern mind universality, unity and integrity require the same rules to be valid everywhere. Postmodernism opposes this view, on the contrary, that each situation is different and should be understood in a special way. Another reason why reality is not unique is that it is variable. The variability of reality depends on impositions. Therefore, in the future, as we will examine in Foucault's knowledge-power relations, according to postmodernism, the facts are artificial and fictional. These are imposed on people by existing and dominant cultures, and thus the individual in the environment of technology, science, and culture. In this part of the study, the relationship between modernism and postmodernism will be compared. Particularly, the postmodern qualities of societies that misinterpret modernism will be determined.