Constructivism is a product of the second half of the 1980s. People both in the academic world and in the streets began to question the logic of the Cold War. In the field of International Relations, the change was seen in two axes of debate. The first debate was between the Realists and the Liberals. Both the Realists and the Liberals were trying to apply the logic of rationalist economic theory to international relations and each reached completely different conclusions even though both sides were Rationalists. However, the second debate was between Rationalists and Critical Theorists. The Critical Theorists were challenging the epistemological, methodological, and normative assumptions of Neorealism and Neoliberalism. Since the end of the Cold War, these two axes of debate are replaced by two new axes: Rationalists and Constructivists, and Constructivists and Critical Theorists. The reason for these debates is the rise of Constructivism.
Constructivism has its roots in the developments in sociology. The Constructivists generally criticised the static material assumptions of the traditional IR theories. They put the emphasis on the social dimension of international relations and on the possibility of change. When emphasising these points, some Constructivists tried to open up a conversation with those academics they criticised and some didn’t.
The theory that IR is a social construction is the very basis of Constructivism. To construct anything means to create something that wouldn’t otherwise exist. Simple, everyday things like a chair made from wood shows the importance of creativity and construction. Once constructed, all objects have a specific meaning and they can be used only within a context. They are social objects because they are constructed with society’s values, norms and assumptions in mind.
In the same way, social phenomena such as borders, states, alliances, international institutions, that is, the sum of all the subjects...