Constructivism: From International Politics to Foreign Policy

Document Type : Research Paper



Constructivism is one of the recent approaches in social sciences and in the analysis of political trends which sits in the middle of rationalist and post-modern approaches. Those who believe in this approach, claim that constructivism can set off the deficiencies found in the two other approaches in the understanding and explanation of national and international policies. That is to say that constructivism links the capabilities of each of these two approaches and eliminates the theoretical conflict present between them.   This article examines these capabilities and conflicts in detail and describes different branches of constructivism including the modern and post-modern ones. Moreover, it explains the critique made by constructivist thinkers like Alexander Vent and Kratochville on realism and post-structuralism.   The author continues to analyze international politics and the foreign policies of nations from a constructivist perspective and scrutinizes the possibility of extracting a foreign policy theory only from the international politics theory in this approach. Finally, the author is of the belief that since constructivism replaces the instrumental rationality with the proportionality logic, takes advantage of both the neo-real and neo-liberal levels of analysis and considers the interests and objectives of the states subject to the states’ norms and identities and their changes. It is more objective, more scientific and more successful than post-modern and critical approaches in analyzing political events and developments, and can bring about political order and stability in practical realm as well.


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