Essay About Constructivism

Essay About Constructivism-90
Other contributions were able to further establish how identity and norms shape state interests and thus contribute to generating explanations for issues relevant to realism, such as military interventions and great power transformation (Barnett, 2013).Constructivists question the individualist notions underlying mainstream ontologies of the state, and instead focus on a social ontology, emphasizing that states cannot be detached from a context of meaning that shapes their identity and interests (Fierke, 2016, p. Whereas mainstream theories assume states to follow lasting interests such as power and wealth, constructivists emphasize that essential aspects of IR are constructed in line with their historical and social context.In telling you who you are, identities strongly imply a certain set of interests with respect to certain actors (Hopf, 1998).

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Such structures, however, are mutually constructed by the identities of the actors they serve to create, as Reus-Smit notes, since the maintaining and transforming of ideational structures is dependent on practices of individuals within them (2009).

Critical constructivism further acknowledges alienation as “driving the need for identity” and thus emphasizes the need of an “other” to construct one’s own identity (Hopf, 1998, p. Lastly, in contrast with assumptions made by mainstream approaches, actor’s interests are not predetermined but instead informed by identities.

The latter opposes the positivism and rationalism of mainstream theories and is more closely affiliated with critical social theory, while conventional constructivism distances itself from critical theory (Reus-Smit, 2005).

Conventional constructivism furthermore maintains its accordance with rationalism in epistemological or methodological questions.

The construction of identity as a social practice in which intersubjective processes shape how actors see themselves and others, is a crucial element of inquiry for constructivist theorists.

Identities are further intimately tied to cultural, historical, political and social contexts (Hopf, 1998, p. Constructivism emphasizes the structural character of shared ideas, values and beliefs as constituting ideational and normative structures, which give meaning to material structures (Reus-Smit, 2009, p. Constructivists hold that, in the absence of ideational structures, exercises of power fail in acquiring meaning.

Secondly, in constructing the identity of refugees, special consideration must be given to the changing terms used for the asylum seekers entering Germany, ranging from “Asylanten”, used as a denunciation of the refugee’s character, to “Geflüchtete”, as underscoring their helplessness and victimhood (Geisel, 2015).

This corresponds to Leach’s account of the refugee crisis in Australia in 2001-2002, who uncovers that multiple aspects constituted an overall picture of the asylum seekers as undeserving (2003).

To further qualify their view, they stress the importance of a historically grown, homogenic nation that prescribes to a traditional value system centred around the Christian family (Af D, 2017, p. A German identity is furthermore based on “German cultural heritage, as democracy and freedom are vested in our common cultural values and historical tradition” and takes the German language as focal point of the national character (Af D, 2017, p. In line with this characterization, certain national interests come to the fore that drive the party’s politics and that, in their view, must lie at the heart of each citizen.

As such, they commit themselves to retaining “western Christian culture, and [maintaining] our language and traditions in a peaceful, democratic, and sovereign nation state for the German people” (Af D, 2017, p. In concrete terms, this focuses on the expansion of support for traditional families, a reduction in involvement with EU politics and a general protection of German citizens, also by reducing immigration as necessary steps to defend German interests (Af D, 2017).


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