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What is SC?
Social Constructivism started to gain importance in North America especially after the 1980s. When the
main theories of international relations are insufficient to explain the end of the Cold War and systemic
change, we see that Constructivism comes to the fore as if to fill the gap. The end of the Cold War and the
disintegration of the Soviet Union will lead to fundamental changes in the international system, thus
leading to the revision of previously popular theories.
Soon after this changes it became clear that the pessimist Neorealist theory did not have a sufficiently
clear view, especially on the change in the balance of power. Neo-realists said that in the new world order
that took shape after the Cold War, other states would now seek to provide their own security against the
balancing US power. Thus, the balance of power would be in the form of a multipolar system in which
new great powers emerge.
Social constructivism affects the relations between people, groups, actors and states in international
relations. To date, many theories have influenced international relations, but none of these theories have
followed a clear way of explaining “what we believe and why”. Social constructivism comes into play at
this key point and the most important key it uses is "how do people decide what they believe?" is the
question. In other words, social constructivism has created a way to explain how people's identities,
values, and goals are shaped according to what.
According to social constructivism:
Reality is constructed as a result of human activities;
Knowledge is something that people create. It is formed as a result of social and cultural
Learning is a social process
SC vs Realism
Alexander Wendt says he accepts the five basic assumptions of Realist theory. These are, in turn, a) that
international policy is anarchic, b) States have an aggressive capacity, c) States cannot be 100% sure of
the intentions of other states, d) States seek to maintain their existence, and e) States are rational.
According to Wendt, the main point that Neorealists differ from the Builders is their assumptions about
how the structure is formed. While the Neorealists think that the structure consists only of the distribution
of material capacities, the Constructors say that it also consists of social relations. According to Wendt,
social structures consist of three elements: Common knowledge, material resources and practices. The
Cold War, for example, was a common knowledge structure that ruled the relations of the great powers
for forty years, when they stopped acting on this basis, when the Cold War was over.
There are those who see constructionism as a new breath in international relations theories, as well as as a
bridge between different approaches.
International relations by seeking answers to critical questions such as the role of identity, norms and
causal understanding in the formation of constructionism and national interests
It cannot be denied that it brought a different approach to the discipline. In particular, it cannot be
overlooked that he sees identity as the essence of national and transnational interests (Nagtzaam, 2009:
53). In the analysis of the international system, emphasizing the intellectual factors rather than the
material factors has gained importance again with the constructivist approaches.
Question 1: What can u say SC ideas about Identity? – Aytac
Identity is relatively fixed and is one's understanding and expectations for himself when communicating
with another or introducing himself. If expressed in constructive concepts; Identity is a structure formed
in relatively more established social krelations, shared meanings, rules, norms and practices.
Question 2: Tell something about Wendt anarchy opinions – Samir
Based on the anarchic nature of the international system, Neorealists claim that each state should be selfsufficient in ensuring its security.
Wendvcx t's starting point is the rejection of anarchy based on self-sufficiency in international relations.
Question 3: Say differences between liberal and constructivist opinions about norm – Gunel
Liberal / neoliberals argue that norms are owned by states because they help them establish
collaborations that serve their interests. In the constructivist norm literature, as emphasized
before, states are secondary; The success of normative entrepreneurs is based on moral
leadership, not strength, and states can adopt norms to do the 'right' thing even when they are not
in their interests.
Question 4: How did SC appeared? – Nadjiba
Social Constructionism started to gain importance in North America especially after the 1980s. The main
theories of international relations fell short of explaining the end of the Cold War and systemic change.
And that's when Social Constructivists filled the void. But we also know that the roots of SC ideas are
based on Kant.
Question 5: Which factors affect the identity? Dilara
It can be influenced by race, gender, nationalities, religions or ideologies. External factors can include
international norms such as pluralism that contribute to defining a country's identity or assume affiliation
with other countries.
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