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Constructivism in I.R..

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Presentation on theme: "Constructivism in I.R.."— Presentation transcript:

1 Constructivism in I.R.

2 Actors and Systems II. The Role of Ideas III. Visualizing Theory

3 Actors and Systems Realism and Liberalism: States and Anarchy as given problem of I.R. Constructivists are called Constructivists because they focus on how reality is ‘socially constructed’ Agent-Structure Debate – Agents = Actors (State and Non-State) – Structure = Structure of International System Q: Does the structure of the system shape actors behavior, or do actors shape the structure of the system?

4 Theories and Agent-Structure
(Neo-)Realism: Nature of the international system shapes states’ behavior Liberalism: Behavior of actors shapes the nature of the international system Constructivism: Actors and system mutually constituted

5 II. The Role of Ideas Ideas important in their own right
Consequences v. Appropriateness International Norms: shared expectations about appropriate behavior held by the international Community Changes in norms lead to changes in state behaviors Examples: Sovereignty, Colonialism, Land Mine Treaty “Anarchy is what states make of it ”(Wendt)

6 The Role of Ideas II One of the main assumptions of a constructivist approach is that identities, norms, and culture play important roles in world politics. Identities and interests of states are not simply structurally determined, but are rather produced by interactions, institutions, norms, cultures. It is process, not structure, which determines the manner in which states interact. See Alexander Wendt, 'Anarchy is What States Make of It', International Organisation, 46/2, 1992.

7 Norms and State Behavior
State Behavior and International Norms “Mutually Constituted” ACTORS (States) •Behavior •Interests •Identities CONTEXT (System) •Ideas •Meanings •Rules

8 Constructivism: Summary
States and intl. system mutually constituted in IR (systemic dialectic ??) Ideas (separate from power) are important in shaping international relations Whether IR take place in an anarchical system of states or a legally ordered society of states is a function of divergent or convergent national identities

9 Dilemma = Emphasis on Power
Visualizing Theory REALISM Power Anarchy = Security Dilemma = Emphasis on Power CONSTRUCTIVISM Ideas Anarchy vs. Society National Identity Institutions LIBERALISM Anarchy mitigated by IGOs/INGOs/Intl. Regimes, Interdependence, Common Values, International Law etc

10 Literaturtip Seminar CD Folder International Relations Theory Sub-folder F. FOURTH DEBATE Sub-folder A. CONSTRUCTIVISM VS. POSITIVISM Seminar CD Folder International Relations Theory Sub-folder Christmas Bonus Book Collection PDF Maja Zehfuss: Constructivism in International Relations

11 That‘s it – folks…

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