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Agent Structure Essay

  • Submitted by: StefanCrazyMan10
  • on October 30, 2010
  • Category: Miscellaneous
  • Length: 7,643 words

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Below is an essay on "Agent Structure" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Missing Epistemology: The ‘Social’ and the ‘Theoretical’ in Wendt’s Social Theory

Paper prepared for the 4th CEEISA Conference in Tartu, Estonia 25-27 June, 2006

Silviya Lechner, PhD student, University of Wales, Aberystwyth
Email: silviya.lechner@gmx.de

Introduction

In this paper I engage critically Alexander Wendt’s ontological reading of constructivism, as developed in Social Theory of International Politics.[1] My task is to defend the view that constructivism, properly understood, presents a sort of epistemology. In ‘Wendt’s World’,[2] Steve Smith articulated powerfully a similar position yet there are important distinctions between Smith’s and my criticism, the key being that I locate constructivist epistemology within the tradition of double hermeneutics or double interpretation. As Wendt, among many, pointed out, constructivism is not another IR theory--it does not address issues such as the end of the Cold War, the polarity of the international system, or the dynamic of alliance formation. [3] It is a philosophy of social science that over the past 20 years or so has generated a vast literature, associated with Andre Kukla, Gerard Delanty, and Ian Hacking, to mention few prominent authors. [4] Interestingly, constructivism seem to be an extraordinary approach, since it does not merely occupy conceptual space within social science but attempts to redefine social science, the way positivism did almost a century earlier. That constructivism is a philosophical orientation, and that it raises fundamental queries about the constitution of reality, especially social reality, is a starting premise of my essay. Most commentators have explored Wendt’s theory in the context of IR but I address it from a philosophical perspective and focus on the first part of the book.
      Social Theory of International Politics hardly needs an introduction--it is a widely known work. It articulates constructivism as a master paradigm that emerges at the intersection...

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Agent Structure. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 14, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://snehaedu.com/free-essays/Agent-Structure-62349.html