INTS Notes Part 2

INTS Notes Part 2 - INTS Notes Social Constructivism (a...

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INTS Notes Social Constructivism (a paradigm, not a theory) -non-systemic I. Definition-It emphasizes the importance of normative (ethics, morals) and material (law, tangibles) structures and it emphasizes the importance of identities and shaping of political actions. Examines the mutually constitutive relationship between agents and structures do not believe agents created structures II. Rise of Constructivism a. From CIT (Critical International Theory) criticizes dominant theories in international politics; re-formulate Marxist understanding and applies it to modern day politics; weak in analysis scholars try to develop deeper analysis b. Push to do more substantive work c. Neo-Realism “failed” III. Core Elements a. Empirical: not looking for cause and effects, something tangible to study b. Post-positivist: know they do not have “ultimate answer” c. Social Facts: Affects views of international politics; influence our ideas and behaviors toward international affairs; world is socially constructed; we have power to shape the world; ex: money, property rights *** d. Ideas Matter: Ideas act like a structure structures affects actors’ behavior e. Identities Matter: Ideas help shape identities; identities shape international actions; they shape interests, they shape our behavior f. Mutual Constitution of agents/structure g. International relations are intersubjective IV. How Identities and Interests are shaped a. Imagination- how an actor imagines itself b. Communication
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c. Constraints- different actors are limited in what they can do; ex: constraint of sovereignty V. Types of Constructivism a. Systemic- concerned with structural context, systemic processes; structure is emphasized; structural forces produce, reproduce identities; narrow in focus *** b. Unit-Level- examines relationship between domestic elements and how it affects a state *** c. Holistic- differences between states’ identities; have a broader perspective; states have similarities in their behavior *** d. Neo-classical- more pragmatic, realistic, routine, rigid and calculated; do not completely adhere to all of core elements; an objective world exists e. Naturalistic- considers various actions of order; examine society f. Postmodern VI. Pros a. Social Inquiry- show we come together collectively to solve global problems b. Conceptual clarity and theoretical sophistication c. A return of international history d. Revived normative (ethical) theorizing e. Better understand role of ideas in international politics f. Different world views and areas to explore VII. Cons a. Does not examine international society b. Emphasize social components too much A Major Figure in Social Constructivism- S.C. Wendt: A Theory of International Politics -systemic; parallel with Hedley Bull 1. 2 basic tenets of constructivism i. Ideas vis-à-vis structures; ex: anarchy is a structure of human association
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ii. Ideas vis-à-vis identities and interests identities and interests of states are shaped by
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INTS Notes Part 2 - INTS Notes Social Constructivism (a...

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