wk 9 constructivism - Wendt’s World • A Wendt Social...

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Theoretical Lens 3 Constructivism
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Constructivism Highlights • Everything in world socially constructed • Social and Material factors equally important • Rules and Norms influence actors’ Identities • Aim to understand rather than explain IR • Reject scientific basis of theory • Reject rational basis of IR theories – (Rationalist theories Vs…)
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Social Constructivism; Reflectivism, critical theor(ies) • Newest of the theoretical lenses • Emerged in Europe to counter overt ‘rational’ theories of IR • Encompasses modern, postmodernism, and feminist strands; linked to Critical Theory • Returns to discussion of ideas in int pol
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Conventional Constructivism • Alexander Wendt, Anarchy is what states make of it , 1992. • Anarchy determined by the structure of the system AND the way that states interpret it. • States can change their response (and identity) and thus overcome anarchy
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Unformatted text preview: Wendt’s World • A. Wendt, Social Theory of Int Politics , 1999. • ‘Ideas’ version of Waltz’s systemic analysis of IR • Argued that states behave according to 3 normative systems: Hobbesian, Lockean & Kantian Other Conventional Constructivists • Martha Finnemore, National Interests in International Society , 1996 – Argued that IOs teach states what their interests are (systemic level of analysis) • Peter Katzenstein, The Culture of National Security: Norms and Identity in World Politics , 1996 – Argued that internal culture of state informs its Identity (state level of analysis) Conventional Constructivism • Strengths – Explain areas of IR overlooked by rationalist theories – Demonstrate how ideas matter in IR • Weaknesses – Ignores impact of ‘bad’ ideas – When do norms matter?...
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wk 9 constructivism - Wendt’s World • A Wendt Social...

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