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(p. 234) 8. Social Constructivism 

(p. 234) 8. Social Constructivism
Chapter:
(p. 234) 8. Social Constructivism
Author(s):

Robert Jackson

, Georg Sørensen

, and Jørgen Møller

DOI:
10.1093/hepl/9780198803577.003.0008
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date: 29 October 2020

This chapter examines the social constructivist theory of International Political Economy (IPE). It first discusses the rise of social constructivism and why it has established itself as an important approach in IR. It then considers constructivism as social theory, and more specifically as both a meta-theory about the nature of the social world and as a set of substantial theories of IR. Several examples of constructivist IR theory are presented, followed by reflections on the strengths and weaknesses of the constructivist approach. The chapter proceeds by exploring constructivist theories of international relations, focusing on cultures of anarchy, norms of International Society, the power of international organizations, a constructivist approach to European cooperation, and domestic formation of identity and norms. The chapter concludes with an analysis of some of the major criticisms of constructivism and by emphasising internal debates within constructivism.

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