Constructivism and International Relations: Alexander Wendt and his critics, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Constructivism and International Relations

Alexander Wendt and his critics, 1st Edition

Edited by Stefano Guzzini, Anna Leander


250 pages

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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


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

About the Editor

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.

About the Series

New International Relations

The field of international relations has changed dramatically in recent years, with new subject matter being brought to light and new approaches from in and out of the social sciences being tried out. This series offers itself as a broad church for innovative work that aims to renew the discipline.


Learn more…

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