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The Importance Of Constructivism In International Agreements

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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.…show more content…
One of the most common criticisms of constructivism is that constructivism devalues material factors. This is based on a misunderstanding of constructivism. Constructivists recognize the role of these factors and that they are extremely important in international relations, especially when it comes to international agreements. However, constructivists believe that these material factors get their value from social constructs, and that ideas are the basis of society (Behravesh 2011). To be clear, this does not mean that these material factors have any less value, or that these social constructs are any less powerful. This is relevant to international agreements because material factors like the military and economy have a large effect. Material factors often are what leads states into agreements, especially when it comes to trade and other financial agreements. Material factors also can encourage states to comply with agreements. Constructivism simply holds that these are still social constructs. This gives constructivists more freedom in this discussion of international agreements because they are not bound by more constraining ideas because they recognize the dynamic nature of international relations. This is why constructivism is better at explaining international agreements and compliance because it can get to the core of these issues, and since it is more adaptable, it can more easily explain transformations that take place in the
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