Week 5 - Anarchy is What States Make of It by Alexander Wendy

Week 5 - Anarchy is What States Make of It by Alexander Wendy

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International Politics: Constructivism Week Anarchy is What States Make of It by Alexander Wendt - Classical Realists: Egoism and power politics are attributed solely to human nature - Structural Realists/Neo-realists: Egoism and power politics come from anarchic state of international politics - Kenneth Waltz Defines anarchy as a condition of possibility for the cause of war The “logic” of anarchy creates self-help and power politics features in world politics “wars occur because there is nothing to prevent them” Defines political structure in three dimensions: a) Ordering principles (anarchy) b) Principles of differentiation c) Distribution of capabilities This definition doesn’t take into account/doesn’t predict whether two nations will  be friend or foe - Author aims to prove that there is no particular logic that comes out of anarchy - Constructivist social theory People act toward objects and actors based on the meaning that objects have for  them Ie: states will act differently towards friends and enemies, because enemies are  threatening and friends are not. Anarchy and distribution of power isn’t sufficient to  tell us which is which It is collective meanings which constitute the structure which organize our actions
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- Social world is constructed by identities; each state has a myriad of identities by which is  defines itself and others - Identities are the basis of interest States define themselves/their interests on the process of defining situations - States with certain identities are expected to act in a certain way, do certain things, and  react in certain ways When they do not, because they aren’t really ever required to, defining relationships  gets hard Ie: US and Russia – what should their interests be towards each other now that the  Cold War is over, and threats are no longer required? -
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Week 5 - Anarchy is What States Make of It by Alexander Wendy

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