Neorealism v.s Constructivism

Neorealism focuses on the State as a key actor on the world stage and the systemic interdependent nature of the international community. The neorealist is ultimately interested in security as they view the state as highest authority. I believe this view resonates from a serious insecurity within their human nature (what that nature is constructed from is a matter of perspective, however). This insecurity breeds an authoritarian attitude most of the time, which is concerned with control. Ironically, the “security” produced is a harsh lie because building arms, and increasing domestic security, only creates tension enough for the inevitability of war both abroad and within the country. The system, insecure as it is, cracks down on its civilians until they become an enemy of the state.

Nazi propagandists Joseph Goebbels was credited with saying “The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

The Constructivist perspective focuses more on the overall thoughts of the instruments of power rather than the actual instruments themselves. Constructivists do not discount the importance of material factors, which is a similarity of neorealism, constructivists just aim to understand how one might think about those factors; they believe in the importance and impact of ideas with understanding. The constructivist approach is a polar opposite of the Neorealist and nearly all of the other theories of international events, as they approach them with a lens, which aims not produce a theory.

Both views make advances in assumptions. Neorealists are much like realists and accept much of what the realist perceives as the international community. They believe in the nation-state as the highest power. Though, I see the United Nations, and the mindset of the U.N. as it’s own “state.” Countries, which have more influence such as the United States, and its puppet-master Israel, seek their own interests and use agencies or organizations such as the IAEA and NATO to do their dirty work in the name of the “international peace.” When the true motives are insecure, hostile, selfish, immoral, and aggressive. Constructivism, as they view the “idea” rather than strictly the material, are able to advance to the social constitutions of reality; the capability of humanity for transformation and learning through the sharing of knowledge.

I believe that the constructivist theory of understanding helps to define the divisional products of social circumstances, in relation to both human nature and any attempt to clarify an understanding of International Politics. By focusing and thinking on the instruments of power, the constructivist view broadens the generalized definition of viewing the instruments themselves. The larger we can openly expand our view of the world, whether shaped by events or not, suits both ourselves, and fellow members of humanity as a whole.

By focusing strictly on interactions internationally, which many theories do, one is able to magnify the situation for understanding, but the understanding that one possesses comes from a strong bias which, to complete the cycle of discussion, relates to the constructivist view that personal events and experiences shape our perspective of the world. This is true, somewhat, but again this still assists to limit our understanding by focusing our understanding, maybe not on a specific point, but a larger view that can also become much too generalized. Understanding the world in its proper form takes not just one theory or perceptive, but a grand combination of both with the understanding that no one is definitively right at all times. This has been true for the past five years, as well as all other times and within many other areas of study.


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