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The Constructivist Approach to International Relations Theory

Constructivism claims that significant aspects of international relations are socially and historically constructed, rather than a result of human nature or other characteristics of international politics.

It is considered that Nicholas Onuf is credited with the creation of the term "constructivism." The contemporary constructivist theory has its roots in pioneering works of other authors, including Friedrich Kratochwil, John Ruggie, Richard K. Ashley, and Christian Reus-Smit. The best-known advocate of social constructivism is Alexander Wendt. His article was published in International Organization in 1992. This article includes the theoretical groundwork for challenging a flaw shared by both neoliberal and neorealists institutionalists. He attempted to show that the concept of "power politics" is socially constructed and that it is not given by nature and can be transformed by human practice. Later, Wendt developed his ideas in his central work.

In the 1980s and 1990s, constructivism was one of the largest schools of thought within international relations. Christian Reus-Smit and John Ruggie have identified several strands of constructivism. There are other constructivist scholars, including Kathryn Sikkink, Martha Finnemore, Peter Katzenstein, and Alexander Wendt. They works have been widely accepted within the IR community and have generated scholarly discussions among different powers, including liberals, realists, institutionalists, and constructivists. It has been argued that progress in IR theory can be achieved when Constructivism and Realism are aligned or even synthesized.

During constructivism's formative period, neorealism became the dominant discourse of international relations. International politics is determined by the fact that the international system is anarchic, meaning that it lacks any overarching authority.

Many constructivists analyze international relations by looking at threats, goals, cultures, fears, identities, and other parts of "social reality." Constructivist scholars like Jeffrey Legro, Elizabeth Kier, and Peter Katzenstein challenged realist assumptions about the dynamics of international politics

Constructivism often plays a role of an alternative to the two leading theories of international relations, including liberalism and realism.

Constructivism claims that significant aspects of international relations are socially and historically constructed, rather than a result of human nature or other characteristics of international politics.

It is considered that Nicholas Onuf is credited with the creation of the term "constructivism.

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CREATED ON
27 October 2016
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28 October 2016
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