Social Constructivism And Its Impact On International Relations

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Social constructivism emerged in the mid-1990s, after the end of Cold War. Although it has been seen as a 'young ' theory in International Relations, it has challenged the two dominant theories – realism and liberalism. It also provided new theoretical openings to understand the International Relations. Social constructivists tried to establish a “middle ground” between rationalism and poststructuralism. Unlike realism, social constructivism claims that material capabilities of states, such as military power, is not the only essential factor in International Relations. It also concentrates on other non-material factors, including identity, culture, ideas, norms, institutions and interests. Moreover, it believes that the interaction of structures and agency is a key in explaining the international politics. However, not every social constructivists agree with the same themes of the theory. There is contestation. According to Ted Hopf (1998), social constructivism can be divided into two categories. The first type is the conventional constructivism, in other words, the 'weak ' constructivism. The second type is the critical constructivism, which is also called poststructuralism. In this essay, I am going to discuss the limitations of the weak form of social constructivism from the perspectives of other approaches, such as the critical constructivism and rationalism. The other approaches can indicate the deficiency of the weak form of social constructivism. According to
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