Critical Theory (the -Mostly critical of realism & liberalism
-Don’t like “rationalism”, think assumptions and generalizations are dumb
-Not interested in cause & effect—therefore “critical” and not “rational”
-Mostly seek to redute theory, not create theory
-Postmodernists: deconstruct IR theory
-Feminists: gender must be included
-EARLY constructivists—ideas cloud any possibility of a clear and consistent
-All share critique of national IR theories
-All agree you can’t make generalizations about IR things
Constructivism: Alexander Wendt: Anarchy is what state’s make of it
“IDEAS MATTER” notion that ideas matter and can actually explain politics
seeks to make constructivism a scientific positivistic theory not a
instead of IVs being material measures or institutions(they reject material
things), the ideas that drive those material structures are what’s important.
all variables are “what state’s make of them”
it’s an ideational theory
this difference in world view is called an ONTOLOGICAL difference.
Constructivism is based on an IDEATIONAL ONTOLOGY, rather than a
MATERIAL ONTOLOGY. Thus constructivism is posed against BOTH
realism & liberalism.
ideas cause states to act differently about the same structures. This difference
cannot be explained materially
ideas come from SOCIAL structures: norms, identity, socialization, etc.
Ideas ▯material ▯action.
actors hold different ideas based on identity and norms