5 CONSTRUCTIVISM: Introduction (2016)Apunte Inglés
Introduction to Constructivism
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Theory of IR 2016
Wendt, A. (1992) ’Anarchy is what states make of it: the social construction of power politics’, International Organization,
Vol. 46, No. 2, pp. 391-426.
5.1. Introduction 5.1.1. CONTEXT: The Cold War It was born after Critical Theory. It appeared during the Cold War (period of détente), in the 1970s.
Emergence of the third world: Unequal relations between countries, it appears the concept of development and underdevelopment.
During the 80s-90s the tensions increase again: The Second Cold War. This will have an impact on theories of International Relations. During the 1980s there is the end of the détente, the emergence of new leaders (both in the West and the East) and appearance of new conflicts (Afghanistan, for example).
Because of this background, the current theories evolution and adaptation in order to explain this development.
5.1.2. CONTEXT: The End of the Cold War The End of the Cold War has different possible explanations: I.
The USSR was loosing relative power in comparison to the United States: The USSR was loosing military power, and the United States were more powerful in military terms, and would defeat them.
II. The stability of the balance of power thanks to bipolarity could shift with any little change. Any change to the Balance of Power is likely to produce more conflict. States seek for absolute power, as they want to dominate the system (they want to become hegemonic), as Mearshimer said. As both the USSR and the US were looking for their hegemony, it was more likely that conflict re-emerged again.
The End of the Cold War showed: • There was a failure to predict.
• The importance of leaders and discourses and the identity of states. No one would have predicted that Gorbachov would end up with the disappearance of the USSR.
• Theory and practice are maybe not so interlinked. Criticism to Critical Thinking — Prediction has failed, so it shows that this link between theory and practice is not as right as they thought.