THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIVIST
Concept and theoretical propositions
- Social ontology and holistic epistemology
- Core concepts: identities, interests and
Foci: ideas and power; international socialization;
and the process of social construction.
Causal mechanisms: the mechanism and process
of social construction
Explanatory mechanisms. Methodologies.
propositions and concepts
- ideal (social) nature of the world system; international system and
states are thought of as structures of beliefs and knowledge;
- Ideational properties of the political actor are produced and reproduced
in a cognitive and intersubjective process of interaction;
Core constructivist concepts
- Identities: issue-specific, relatively stable understandings and
expectations about self;
- Interests: ideas about the means for preservation and reproduction of
- Socialization: a process of interaction, where political actors’ identities
and interests get constructed and reconfigured.
Interplay of ideas and power: ideas although key
explanatory variables, are not autonomous from power:
rhetorical action; arguing and bargaining; and framing and
Global norms versus local effects: international
socialization- the effect of systemic norms on domestic
politics; the role of the international institutions; the role of
the domestic context.
Mechanisms and processes of social construction: norm
diffusion, learning, argumentation and coercion.
Mechanisms and processes of social
construction- norm transfer and internalization
Norm diffusion: occurs on the public arena,
Learning: takes place within private
(organizational) settings, non-political
Argumentative mode of social construction:
argumentation, persuasion, and deliberation
Argumentative mode of