Today Is Constructivism Day

Emile Durkheim and Max Weber
– individuals, ideas, social factors as important

“collective intentionality” –

regulative v. constitutive rules
– regulative rules should have causal effects (eg drive on the right side of the road)
– constitutive rules define what is the system (eg “the rules are the game”)

“intersubjective” = “qualitative“? “frictional“?

“critical construvism” – identities are never fixed

(Prof: convergence of constructivist security community theory & cultural explanation of the democratic peace)

“authoritarian peace” – in Latin America and Africa, noted lack of war between certain kinds of dictatorships

security communities
loosely-coupled: shared fears, agreement on no war in between
tightly-coupled: supernational institutions; collective security; policy coordination
mature: no internal borders, only “us”

“balance of threat” – how far to states ally not against power but against threats?
– so “perception of threat” is based on quality/friction between states (especially from “threatened” state point of view)
– example: EU and US view of Middle Eastern radical Islam

Anarchy in Constructivism
– because identities and relations are constructed, anarchy is interpreted
– therefore, “self-help” isn’t as central in the same way to constructivism
– but then isn’t all action a form of self-help? unless state is depersonified?

sovereignty is constructed as property-rights
– social learning reinforces

(Prof: Range of constructivism from “common sense” constructivism to science constructivism;
Constructivism relatively unpopular because of abstract history of the field;
Agent-Structure problem: but why?, Marx’s “Men remake the world, but not as they see fit”, structurationist;
constructivist approaches often lack predictive power (but remember ER diagram analogy! fill in the context… );
how do we falsify constructivism?;
“the strength of constructivism is its focus on norms”

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