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It is about social construction of a reality. It is about a transformation of international
through social fact……
Example of social constructivism (Canadian money)
The social fact is 20 dollar allowing you to buy something… it is called fiduciary
instrument… and it means we trust it…and it means everyone around us trust it….which
is a piece of paper with the portrait of queen…
Origin: it became major mainstream theory in IR in 80 and 90, and then there is one school
of IR, before, that had rather similar approach to constructivism and it was called (British
school of internal affair), among states there is something like international society, That is
linked by diplomatic relation, common wealth, common practices…. Because other theories
failed foresee and explain successfully the end of world war…..as we see realist see the
world as the same way…they are just not good at change and transformation….because
they always regards IR the same manner…it is all about security, anarchy….or more…
which is useless…. The only way realist could see the end of world war was through world
Constructive developed on that very failure….as one scholars explains….see the world as
project under construction …something in the process of becoming rather than being….it
tries to understand transformation and changes…..in order to achieve that we try to
understand that the process of interaction….
If we look at 199, there are many ways looking at this event…some just focus on US one
side and Soviet on the other hand….constructive look at realist analysis, and mentioned
that they are missing the ideas, missing the very process where garbachavo started the
Soviet Union …..these vary ideas came from the west…..and these ideas were the keys that
explain the end of world war…it is ultimately about Gorbachve understanding the reality of
Soviet Union….they were sinking….it is the matter of changing ideas and come to reality….
The same can be said about transformation of EU, realist are missing the list of
Ideas…..like East Germany was streaming West Germany TV, so that is how the ideas were
It is stressing the worlds of ideas and focuses on contrstuctivism…..
Key tradition concept of IR:
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Actors are produced and by their culture environment…by their history of their past
instruction….the behavior of states is more matter of nurture than nature…the very
identity of an actor that shape his interest and so being French, American , or
It explains largely how an actor defines its interest…..so the rule of identity is crucial for
Realists don’t look at this way, it is always for them A, B or C…the world of Ideas and
culture are not significant…..
Constructive say it is crucial and we cannot ignore the identity of an actor and it shapes its
Sovereignty …..Is socially constructed among states…it is the predict of understanding
agreement among states……the actual meaning of it depends on collective agreement….
Responsibility predict…what u doing in ur states it is matter of concern for IR
community…if you don’t behave properly, then the IR community will intervene….
50 years ago,….at the peak of world war….what Soviet union was doing in Poland it was
matter of Soviet union…these days when a dictator behave badly like committing mass
murder…IR community has the right to intervene…it is collective agreement of
understanding among states….ex: EU, where there is collective of agreement among
states…where the rule is completely changed…it is matter of daily negotiation…
Action and motivation: Constructive will have slightly difference action in world place...the
underline logic behind an action….the tradition rational approach, will analyze action on
the logic of consequence…several option possible which are called cost and benefits that and
you have to choose the one that seem the best objective…Con underline another logic…it is
about logic of appropriateness….they will look at an action and will say was it the most
sufficient or appropriate action….by asking this question they underline another sec of
motivation…ex..: regarding climate rules….a specific action by an states…the question is
was it appropriate….so it is changing all the time….it isn’t strong agenda as it was before
( climate change),
Anarchy: if sovereignty is socially constructed so is sovereignty…..
Anarchy is what states makes of it...it is bottom to top process not a top to bottom process….
In other words, states collectively may have different understanding among themselves
what anarchy is about….they can change the very concept of anarchy….it is again a
dynamic process….it is not given once and for all…it is not the matter of structure of
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