Social Theory of International Politics

ISBN-10: 0521469600
ISBN-13: 9780521469609
Edition: 1999
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Description: Drawing upon philosophy and social theory, Social Theory of International Politics develops a theory of the international system as a social construction. Alexander Wendt clarifies the central claims of the constructivist approach, presenting a  More...

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Book details

List price: $44.99
Copyright year: 1999
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 10/7/1999
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 447
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.672
Language: English

Drawing upon philosophy and social theory, Social Theory of International Politics develops a theory of the international system as a social construction. Alexander Wendt clarifies the central claims of the constructivist approach, presenting a structural and idealist worldview which contrasts with the individualism and materialism which underpins much mainstream international relations theory. He builds a cultural theory of international politics, which takes whether states view each other as enemies, rivals or friends as a fundamental determinant. Wendt characterises these roles as 'cultures of anarchy', described as Hobbesian, Lockean and Kantian respectively. These cultures are shared ideas which help shape state interests and capabilities, and generate tendencies in the international system. The book describes four factors which can drive structural change from one culture to another - interdependence, common fate, homogenization, and self-restraint - and examines the effects of capitalism and democracy in the emergence of a Kantian culture in the West.

Acknowledgements
Four sociologies of international politics
Social Theory
Scientific realism and social kinds
'Ideas all the way down?': on the constitution of power and interest
Structure, agency and culture
International Politics
The state and the problem of corporate agency
Three cultures of anarchy
Process and structural change
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index

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