Before the 1980s, the focus of the international scholarship relations was on two main debates: on the one hand, opposing the neo-realists to the neo-liberal institutionalists; and on the other rationalism to critical theory. Whereas the former is a debate in which the two mainstream theories, both described as rationalist, accept common assumptions (among which the logic of anarchy and the self-interest of the states, principal actors of international relations); the latter involves the challenging of the critical theory of the core epistemological and ontological beliefs of rationalism. However, in the incidents of that decade, these debates, especially the first one, seems to be languish. It is in that period that a certain number of researchers appeared, describing themselves as belonging to a "constructivist" approach to international relations. This approach is derived from other forms of social sciences, including philosophy, anthropology, sociology and history, which explain the multiplicity of its influences, and the different degrees of assimilation of other sciences.
[...] An introduction to International Relations, 3rd edition (2005) p Alexander Wendt, “Anarchy is what states make of it: the social construction of international relations”, International Organization (1992), vol.46, p Scott Burchill, Andrew Linklater, Theories of International Relations, 3rd edition (Basingtoke: Palgrave 2005), chapter 8 Scott Burchill, Andrew Linklater, Theories of International Relations, 3rd edition (Basingtoke: Palgrave 2005), chapter 8 Emanuel Adler, “Seizing the Middle Ground: constructivism in World Politics”, European Journal of International Relations (1997) pp. 319- 363 Emanuel Adler, “Seizing the Middle Ground: constructivism in World Politics”, European Journal of International Relations (1997) pp. [...]
[...] After presenting these introductory controversies of constructivism as an approach to international relations theory, the question of its evaluation arises. Indeed, what is the relevance of constructivism in today's international relations scholarship? Subsequently, the problem of how to evaluate a theory derives from the first interrogation. In order to asses constructivism, it is imperative to closely examine its ontological foundations and its research capabilities and methodology. However, it is also necessary to situate the theory in relation to other approaches. [...]
[...] The definition given of norms by Nicholas Onuf is the one of statement that tells people what they should The issue of identities and interests However, the behavior of the actors does not depend solely on norms, as the main concept of the constructivist approach to social reality is the one of identities. Identities are at the heart of the constructivist method, and they are perceived as informing the actors' interests and therefore their actions. As opposed to the assumptions and hypotheses of mainstream theories, that consider interests as given, and therefore as outside their realm, constructivism seeks to explain the formation of identities and interests, and sees them as constructed and likely to be transformed. [...]
[...] Constructivism as the “Middle Ground” When it comes to the analysis of constructivism as the “Middle Ground”, it appears that Emanuel Adler's approach is the most useful to explain in which ways constructivists can define themselves as building bridges. In his article “Seizing the Middle Ground, Constructivism in World Politics”, Adler explains that constructivism can be placed at the same time between materialism and idealism and between individual agency and social structure. Then, he introduces the notion of intersubjectivity as a compromise Between materialism and idealism The first studied by Adler is the one dividing materialism and idealism. [...]
[...] An introduction to International Relations, 3rd edition (2005) Emanuel Adler, “Seizing the Middle Ground: constructivism in World Politics”, European Journal of International Relations (1997) pp. 319- 363 Maja Zehfuss, “Constructivism and identity: a dangerous liaison”, European Journal of International Relations (2001), vol pp. 315- 348 Jeffrey T. Checkel, constructivist turn in international relations theory”, World Politics (1998), vol no.2, pp. 324-348 Ronen Palan, world of their making: an evaluation of the constructivist critique in international relations”, Review of International Studies (2000) pp. [...]
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