Constructivism and International Relations : Alexander Wendt and his critics book cover
1st Edition

Constructivism and International Relations
Alexander Wendt and his critics

ISBN 9780415411202
Published October 17, 2006 by Routledge
272 Pages

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Book Description

This new book unites in one volume some of the most prominent critiques of Alexander Wendt's constructivist theory of international relations and includes the first comprehensive reply by Wendt.

Partly reprints of benchmark articles, partly new original critiques, the critical chapters are informed by a wide array of contending theories ranging from realism to poststructuralism. The collected leading theorists critique Wendt’s seminal book Social Theory of International Politics and his subsequent revisions. They take issue with the full panoply of Wendt’s approach, such as his alleged positivism, his critique of the realist school, the conceptualism of identity, and his teleological theory of history. Wendt’s reply is not limited to rebuttal only. For the first time, he develops his recent idea of quantum social science, as well as its implications for theorising international relations.

This unique volume will be a necessary companion to Wendt’s book for students and researchers seeking a better understanding of his work, and also offers one of the most up-to-date collections on constructivist theorizing.


Table of Contents

Preface  1. The Constructivist Challenge to Structural Realism: A Review Essay  2 Constructing a New Orthodoxy? Wendt’s ‘Social Theory of International Politics’ and the Constructivist Challenge  3. Grand Theory in the Age of its Impossibility: Contemplations on Alexander Wendt  4. Wendt, IR and Philosophy: a critique  5. Wendt’s constructivism: a relentless quest for synthesis  6. Constructivism and Identity: A Dangerous Liaison  7. Endogenizing Corporate Identities: The Next Step in Constructivist IR Theory  8. Reflexivity and structural change  9. No place for politics? Truth, Progress and the Neglected Role of Diplomacy in Wendt’s Theory of History  10. Social Theory as Cartesian Science: An Auto-Critique from a Quantum Perspective


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Stefano Guzzini received his doctorate from the European University Institute, Florence. He is Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies and Professor in the Department of Government at Uppsala University, Sweden.

Anna Leander is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Southern Denmark, Odense, and Associate Professor of International Political Economy at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark.