Oct 3 rd2012
o Society is defined by a set of norms.
o Identity formation through socialization and imitation. Think
about how this compares to the tit-for-tat problem/prisoners
dilemma (this is a game with strategic calculations, whereas
socialization is not). How would this explain the advent of
nuclear weapons and their spread?*Exam Q
Realist would say: security dilemma, I get weapons, you
get weapons, I get more, you get more…
Liberalism would say: Weapons create a situation of
parody between nations and this would work as an
incentive to co-operate.
Constructivism would say: weapons become a norm, there
is a shared understanding of what defines a powerful
nation and nuclear weapons become symbolic of a state’s
status. They are all just copying each other/imitation.
(which may be a vast oversimplification, but that is
Problem when people do not copy each other
o Legitimacy and cooperation:
International organizations: non state actors that can
shape the system and lead states to act in a certain way.
They consider an enforcement mechanism that is
voluntary. Legitimacy explains the durability of
Managerial school of constructionism try to explain issues
(Problem: set of shared norms that we all agree on,
yet clearly there are states/actors that do not follow the norms/act appropriately, how do we explain
Defection/noncooperation is unintentional they say.
Highlight the ambiguity that can go with
norms/agreements, there is scope for interpretation
of norms, therefore there may be different
expectations of what the role is/proper behaviour.
Capacity problems. Norms at the international level
is often done by states and state actors, but issues
of compliance are often left to non-state actors.
Presidents make a deal, but it is non-state actors
who must follow through with it and they may not
have the capability to do so. Therefore
noncooperation may not be intentional.
Unforeseen circumstances indicate that there are
sometimes extraordinary economic and social
changes that make it impossible to comply with
norms. Again, noncooperation was an accident.
o Problem with this is that it is hard to apply this
to domestic level issues.
o This reasoning points to something outside of
self as an explanation. (external
They do acknowledge the condition of anarchy (Went), but
it is what we make o