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PSCI 281 - Marxism + Constructivism.pdf

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Political Science
PSCI 281
Veronica Kitchen

Handout – Lecture 4, Marxism Major Questions: ▯ What ideas and social contexts underpin Marxism and Constructivism? ▯ What does it mean to say that a theory is analytic as well as normative? ▯ What is the relationship between agents (actors) and structures? Assumptions about Constructivism: Since constructivism is a social theory and a way of orienting oneself to IR, it is difficult to speak of assumptions. However, we can speak of commonalities of constructivist IR theories: ▯ Highlight change over continuity ▯ IR is social: rules, norms, identities and ideas matter. ▯ International relations is “a world of our making” (Onuf) – actors create the structures that constrain them (“Anarchy is What States Make of It” – Wendt). Concepts and Definitions Most of the relevant assumptions and concepts about Marxism are covered in your textbook. Power/Knowledge: dominant structures of power and knowledge that, together, shape societies in particular ways. Power and knowledge are inevitably mutually constituted. Mutual constitution:
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