Making Sense, Making Worlds: Constructivism in Social Theory and International Relations, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Making Sense, Making Worlds

Constructivism in Social Theory and International Relations, 1st Edition

By Nicholas Onuf


230 pages

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pub: 2012-09-18
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Nicholas Onuf is a leading scholar in international relations and introduced constructivism to international relations, coining the term constructivism in his book World of Our Making (1989). He was featured as one of twelve scholars featured in Iver B. Neumann and Ole Wæver, eds., The Future of International Relations: Masters in the Making? (1996); and featured in Martin Griffiths, Steven C. Roach and M. Scott Solomon, Fifty Key Thinkers in International Relations, 2nd ed. (2009).

This powerful collection of essays clarifies Onuf’s approach to international relations and makes a decisive contribution to the debates in IR concerning theory. It embeds the theoretical project in the wider horizon of how we understand ourselves and the world. Onuf updates earlier themes and his general constructivist approach, and develops some newer lines of research, such as the work on metaphors and the re-grounding in much more Aristotle than before.

A complement to the author’s groundbreaking book of 1989, World of Our Making, this tightly argued book draws extensively from philosophy and social theory to advance constructivism in International Relations.

Making Sense, Making Worlds will be vital reading for students and scholars of international relations, international relations theory, social theory and law.

Table of Contents

Preface Part I. Constructivism 1. Constructivism: A User’s Manual 2. Worlds of Our Making 3. Fitting Metaphors Part II. The Metaphysics of World-Making 4. Reading Aristotle 5. Parsing Personal Identity 6. Structure, What Structure? Part III. The Art of World-Making 7. Speaking of Policy 8. Rules in Practice 9. Friendship and Hospitality Part IV. Making Sense of Modernity 10. Institutions, Intentions and International Relations 11. Civil Society, Global Governance 12. Alternative Visions

About the Author

Nicholas Greenwood Onuf is Professor Emeritus, Department of Politics and International Relations, Florida International University, Miami, and Professor Associado, Instituto de Relações Internationais, Pontifica Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro.

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.


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