Constructivism And Constructivism

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International agreements makeup a vital part of international relations, and modern society would be impossible without them. The basis of any agreement is confidence that both parties will follow through with their end of the agreement. Without this confidence, agreements are impossible, and pointless. So in world full of international agreements where does this confidence and accountability come from? The theory which most effectively explains why states enter into agreements and abide to them despite no accountability is constructivism. This is because constructivism is not only able to capture why states enter into agreements, but they are able to capture on deeper level why states enter into agreements, and the many factors at play. This essay will first introduce constructivism, illustrate why constructivism is the most helpful in explaining international agreements through examples, and respond to criticism Constructivism as an approach to international relations that focuses on the “centrality of ideas and human consciousness” and how this shapes actor identities and interests, as well as how it affects how they interact with each other (Baylis, Smith, and Owens 2017, 540). One aspect of constructivism that is central to understanding it is social norms. Norms “specify general standards of behaviour, and identify the rights and obligations of states”(Baylis, Smith and Owens 2017, 542). This is important to this paper because ideas and norms, in addition to material factors, are what guide international cooperation and state behaviour. So why do states enter into agreements in the first place? According to constructivism, states enter into agreements because they believe that these agreements are in accordance with the... ... middle of paper ... ...ism explains states enter into international agreements that align with their state identity and interests which are socially constructed. They comply with these agreements because of their need to maintain legitimacy, and other material factors that pressure them to comply. Also, since norms and ideas are dynamic, the world can undergo change which allows constructivism to be more adaptable than other theories explaining international agreements. This discussion of international agreements is important because international agreements are a huge part of the modern world today, and the success of humanity as a whole depends on our ability to make and keep agreements. This is also relevant because while examining why states enter into agreements, and their accountability we can also find out more about our own human nature, and what guides and holds us accountable.

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