2.22 - Constructivism vs. Rationalism How are they alike?...

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Constructivism vs. Rationalism How are they alike? Not theories about the substance of IR, but meta-theories about how to analyze IR How are they different? Rationalism says interests are defined by actors, acting individually, and following a logic of consequences: what will result if I behave this way? Constructivism says interests are defined by shared understandings, with actors acting socially and following logic of appropriateness : how should I behave in this situation, based on: A. how I view others & myself, and B. agreed-upon norms? Constructivism—Policy Recommendations Consider shared norms, identities, etc. when making decisions Consensus on values important for stability in IR Engage in cross-cultural dialogue Theoretical Perspectives in IR #5 – POSTMODERNISM Rooted in literary theory that began to take hold in 1940s Applied to political science and IR since 1980s Basic assumptions of Postmodernism Assumption #1: IR only understood through the language we use to write and talk about it “Stories” of IR are created, and then take on a life of their own, making them seem “real” Assumption #2: no single, objective reality; instead, multiple realities reality is produced by language – language does not describe a hidden, objective reality no universal state interests or norms/rules of IR
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2.22 - Constructivism vs. Rationalism How are they alike?...

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