Critical international relations theory is a diverse set of schools of thought in International Relations (IR) that have criticized the theoretical, meta-theoretical and/or political status quo, both in IR theory and in international politics more broadly — from positivist as well as postpositivist positions. Such theories are now widely recognized and taught and researched in many universities, but are as yet less common in the United States. They are taught at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in many major universities outside the US, where a major concern is that "a myopic discipline of IR might contribute to the continued development of a civil society in the U.S. that thinks, reflects and analyzes complex international events through a very narrow set of theoretical lenses"
In the discipline of international relations, constructivism is the claim that significant aspects of international relations are historically and socially constructed, rather than inevitable consequences of human nature or other essential characteristics of world politics. Development]
Nicholas Onuf is usually credited with coining the term "constructivism" to describe theories that stress the socially constructed character of international relations. Contemporary constructivist theory, Alexander Wendt is the best-known advocate of Social constructivism in the field of international relations. Wendt’s article "Anarchy is What States Make of It: the Social Construction of Power Politics" (1992) in International Organization laid the theoretical groundwork for challenging what he considered to be a flaw shared by both neorealists and neoliberal institutionalists, namely, a commitment to a (crude) form of materialism. By attempting to show that even such a core realist concept as "power politics" is socially constructed—that is, not given by nature and hence, capable of being transformed by human practice—Wendt opened...