A Constructivist Analysis of Iran’s Foreign Policy

Document Type : Research Paper



Constructivist approach is among the recent approaches in social studies and international relations and nowadays efforts are made in order to examine the major issues of international politics including foreign policies of the states by using this approach. On this basis, unlike rationalist theories such as neo-realism and neo-liberalism which are based on rational choice theory, constructivism holds that the interests of actors and states, which regulate their conduct in foreign policy, are changing and in the process of construction. Change in them hinges on the change in the norms influential in political culture and identities of these actors. On this ground, mental milieus and their transformations such as the way leaders understand the international system, the states’ identity parameters, norms of the international system and moral issues shape the continuities and changes in this area rather than increased military power (in realism) or economic strength (in liberalism) are conducive to the states’ foreign conduct in the realm of international politics. Within this framework, this article argues that certain behaviors of the Islamic Republic of Iran in foreign policy are not compatible with rationalist and materialistic notions of interests, hence it seeks to analyze the Islamic Republic of Iran’s foreign policy from the constructivist perspective.


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