1st Edition

Constructivism and International Relations Alexander Wendt and his critics

Edited By Stefano Guzzini, Anna Leander Copyright 2006
    268 Pages
    by Routledge

    272 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.



    1 The Constructivist Challenge to Structural Realism: A Review Essay

    Dale C. Copeland

    2 Constructing a New Orthodoxy?

    Wendt’s ‘Social Theory of International Politics’ and the Constructivist Challenge

    Friedrich Kratochwil

    3 Grand Theory in the Age of its Impossibility:

    Contemplations on Alexander Wendt

    Andreas Behnke

    4 Wendt, IR and Philosophy: a critique

    Hidemi Suganami

    5 Wendt’s constructivism: a relentless quest for synthesis

    Stefano Guzzini & Anna Leander

    6 Constructivism and Identity: A Dangerous Liaison

    Maja Zehfuss

    7 Endogenizing Corporate Identities:

    The Next Step in Constructivist IR Theory

    Lars-Erik Cederman & Christopher Daase

    8 Reflexivity and structural change

    Petr Drulák

    9 No place for politics?

    Truth, progress and the neglected role of diplomacy in Wendt’s theory of history

    Katalin Sárváry

    10 Social Theory as Cartesian science: an auto-critique from a quantum perspective

    Alexander Wendt


    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.