March 30, 2004

The Huntington Challenge

Robin Arnette has a long, thoughtful response (on the AAAS's MiSciNet) to Samuel Huntington's "Hispanic Challenge" article from Foreign Affairs. MiSciNet also provides links to six other rebuttals: Daniel Drezner, James Joyner, David Adesnik, The Economist, eRiposte, and the L.A. Times. It's interesting that four of the six are weblogs, and that those four are generally more informative and interesting than the two standard media treatments. No list of pro-Huntington weblogs is provided, though Russell Arben Fox can be found dusting off Herder for the occasion over at Wäldchen vom Philosophenweg.

Alleged Hispanic resistance to learning English is one of Huntington's central claims. Arnette argues against this view, as do most of the other rebutters cited, but it would be nice to see someone take Huntington to task in more factual detail, especially in terms of the alleged contrast between today's Hispanic immigrants and earlier generations of immigrants (this is a hint to Geoff Nunberg, who has composed a post answering this description, but has not yet pulled the trigger...). [Update: his post is here.]

Last month, I cited the contrast between liberal Democrat Huntington and conservative Republican Brooks on this issue. This seems to be one of the many questions on which it's hard to predict views based on location in a one-dimensional political subspace.

Though some things are predictable: Arnette bolsters her argument against Huntington's claims about language with a link to a Boston Globe article hosted on, despite the fact that the following comments section is a sort of sewer of national stereotypes, nativist prejudices and curious linguistic misconceptions, with a few sensible observations bobbing in the flood.

Posted by Mark Liberman at March 30, 2004 07:32 PM