Importance Of Social Constructivism

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SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIVISM HISTORICAL BACKGROUND Before we deal with what is Social Constructivism, what are its salient features, what role and importance it has as an IR theory, it’s important to have a brief idea about what do we mean by when we say International Relations Theory. Traditionally speaking, International Relations theories can be classified into two broad categories for proper understanding namely ‘Rationalist’ and ‘Reflectivist’, with theories such as Realism and Liberalism being seen as Rationalist perspective whereas other progressive theories such as feminism, Critical theory, post modernism etc. fall into the ambit of Reflectivist theories. When we say Rationalism, we basically mean that world can be understood and explained through the exercise of human reason, based on the assumptions about its rational structure. On the other hand Reflectivism focuses on the interpretation of events rather than empirical and observable data. With respect to the above mentioned two classifications, if we talk about social constructivism, it says that neither of the two views provides a complete holistic understanding of the International System at large and International Politics in particular. Social constructivism adopts more of a middle way between Rationalist and Reflectivist. What, why and how of social constructivism is important for us to know in order to have a clear picture about this theory of IR which can be seen further in the following subsequent headings.

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