Constructivism In International Relations

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Wendt underlines the point that constructivism is not only about ‘adding the role of ideas’ to prevailing theories of International Relations. Material power and state interest are essentially constituted by ideas and social interaction. Therefore, states in an anarchic system may each possess military and other capabilities, which can be identified as potentially dangerous by other states; but enmity and arms races are not inevitable outcomes. Social interaction between states can also lead to more benign and friendly cultures of anarchy. (Wendt, 1995) Wendt’s analysis focuses on interaction between states in the international system and disregards the role of domestic factors. (Wendt, 1995) Conversely, Martha Finnemore has proposed another version of constructivist in her 1996 book, “National Interests in International Society”. State behavior is determined by identity and interest. Identity and interests are determined by international forces: by the norms of behavior rooted in international society. The norms of international society are transferred to states through international organizations. They influence domestic policies by showing’ states what their interests should be. (Finnemore, 1993) Finnemore’s analysis converges on three case-studies: the adoption of science policy bureaucracies by states after 1955; states’ acceptance of rule-governed norms of warfare; and states accepting limits to economic sovereignty by allowing redistribution to take priority over
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