Contending discourses underlie many of the worlds most intractable conflicts, producing misery and violence. This is especially true in the post-9/11 world. However, contending discourses can also open the way to greater dialogue in global civil society and across states and international organizations. This possibility holds even for the most murderous sorts of conflicts in deeply divided societies. In this timely and original book, John Dryzek examines major contemporary conflicts in terms of clashing discourses. Topics covered include the alleged clash of civilizations; societies divided by ethnicity, nationality, or religion; economic globalization versus resistance; plus an in-depth discussion of the 'war on terror'. Dryzek concludes by highlighting the limitations of current neoconservative and cosmopolitan approaches, arguing that only deliberative global politics offers unprecedented new possibilities for democratic engagement in the international system. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of international relations, politics, philosophy, and sociology.