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Constructivism and intervention: The case of Kosovo

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  1. Introduction
  2. Constructivism and Alexander Wendt
  3. Constructivist theory
  4. A state's identity
  5. Importance of communication and the distribution of knowledge among actors
  6. The recent study of modern intervention
  7. Kosovo's historical and religious significance to the Serbian nation
  8. The war in Bosnia
  9. The humanitarian crisis in Kosovo
  10. Serbia's identity in the world
  11. Anti-Albanian campaigns and Milosevic's misperceptions of NATO
  12. Conclusion
  13. Bibliography

Constructivism is one of the ?newer? theories of International Relations (IR) that attempts to build bridges between the existing theories of IR, most notably neo-realism and neo-liberalism. Constructivism has its roots in the pre-World War II (WWII) Utopian era, which then intermixed with the critical social theory movements of Foucault and others alike. Since then it ?has acquired considerable significance in International Relations? and as a ?phenomenon has become inescapable?1. Its goal is to explain how many core aspects of IR are actually socially constructed, contrary to the beliefs held by the neo-realists and the neo-liberals who believe that its structure arises from immutable forces in human nature. It claims that international actors are embedded in a structure that is both normative and material2. This is somewhat of a departure from the previous theories that largely focused on materialist aspects only.

[...] Cambridge Barnett, Michael, and Finnemore, Martha. Politics, Power, and Pathologies of International Organizations?. International Organization. Volume 53, Issue 4. Pages 699-+. Fall Bellamy, Alex J. ?Humanitarian responsibilities and interventionist claims in international society?. Review of International Studies. Volume 29, Issue 3. pages 321-340. July Bellamy, Alex J. ?Kosovo and International Society?. Palgrave Macmillan. Basingstoke, Hampshire Bellamy, Alex J., and Williams, Paul, eds. ?Peace Operations and Global Order?. Routledge, New York, NY Finnemore, Martha. Purpose of Intervention?. Cornell University Press. Ithaca and London Finnemore, Martha. [...]

[...] The author makes it clear that ?social purpose (interest) can change only through a combination of agent action and structural transformation?13. Perhaps the most recent study of intervention that can be taken into account is the intervention into Kosovo by the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces. This is a very interesting case that can show the inter-subjective nature of identity between states and other institutions. The reasons for intervention, or how these reasons are perceived, as well as its consequences, for both sides, are very important in this field of study. [...]

[...] ?Institutional Structure: Constituting State, Society, and the Individual?. International Organization. Volume 50, Issue 2. pages 325-347. Spring Hopf, Ted. promise of constructivism in international relations theory?. International Security. Volume 23 No pages 171-200. Summer Wendt, Alexander. ?Anarchy is what states make of International Organization Spring 1992. pages 291- Wendt, Alexander. ?Collective Identity Formation and the International State?. American Political Science Review. Volume 88, Issue 2. pages 384-397. June Zehfuss, Maja. ?Constructivism in [...]

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