Institutions and International Relations Question Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

By way of introduction to the topic, Legro examines the general presumption that a state's sense of identity defines the parameter of its national interests, thus directing its domestic or international conduct. Rather than subscribing blindly to this fundamental precept of neorealism, Legro offers a competing theory of identity and its influence on international relations, surmising that "states become what they do as much as they do what they are, they desire what they do as much as they do what they desire" (20). It is Legro's contention that a state's distinct set of cultural norms, social values, and other markers of identity can direct governmental actions on the world stage, but that these actions will inevitably influence this identity, thus providing an entirely different contextual framework for international relations as time progresses and circumstances change.

Legro cites the example of America's divergent approaches to participation in each of the World Wars to demonstrate the fluid nature of national identity, observing that isolationist policies prior to WWI, and the failure of President Wilson's ambitious international order building agenda, should have created an identity based on self-preservation during the run-up to WWII. As Legro points out, however, the shifting ideologies and ideals which constitute America's identity directed the nation towards a more aggressive stance in terms of limiting the expansion of Nazi Germany and other forms of fascism, and "in doing so, the United States did not simply enact its identity (which rejected such a change) but instead its identity became what it believed -- and had already accomplished -- about how to deal with international society" (83). This view of a continually evolving national identity shaping the actions of a state, and those actions necessarily fueling the evolution of said identity, differs from neorealism because Legro's theory allows variables other than power dynamics and perceived threats to influence the course of international relations.

6.) How do norms, culture, and identity shape international relations, according to constructivist theory? Draw from both texts, but use concrete examples from Legro.

The concept of constructivism as it applies to international relations theory is premised on the notion that political order is the product of social change. According to Legro's appraisal of constructivist theory, the collective norms, culture, and identity of a state, which evolve continually throughout time, provide the basis for either continuity or transformation of a government's domestic and foreign policy agenda. Many leading international relations theorists share in the consensus that, "in response to the over-determination of 'structure' in neorealist and neoliberal theory, constructivists introduced the possibility of agency ... (and) that international relations is a social construct rather than an existing independently of human meaning and action" (Dunne, Kurki, and Smith 180). The constructivist view of international relations is used to explain historical movements in terms of alliances, enmity, and even economic exchange.

The long and tumultuous history of relations between the United States and England, for example, can be used to illustrate Legro's supposition that "social ideas are conceptualized not as some sort of fossilized structure but as a dynamic thing -- under formation or reformation as the agents that hold those ideas interact with others" (20). Although America fought for its independence from the British monarchy, and spent decades afterward in a struggle for autonomy against English imperialism, the decidedly anti-English cultural norms held by our forefathers have gradually been eroded as the two nations have embraced a cooperative relationship. American values like democracy and equality have spread across the globe, with England now ruled by a monarchy only in spirit, with a parliamentary government comprised of elected officials directing the U.K.'s domestic and foreign policy agenda. Now united as allies just two centuries after a rancorous revolution, the evolving relationship between America and England provides direct evidence of constructivist theory in action, as both nations have adjusted their political actions to better emulate cultural and social norms which are now shared.

Works Cited

Dunne, Tim, Kurki, Milja, and Smith, Steve. International relations theories: discipline and diversity. Oxford University Press, USA, 2007.

Ikenberry, G. John. After victory: institutions, strategic restraint, and the rebuilding of order after major wars. Princeton University Press, 2009.

Keohane, Robert O. Neorealism and its Critics. New York:…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Institutions And International Relations Question" (2013, May 15) Retrieved December 4, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/institutions-and-international-relations-99558

"Institutions And International Relations Question" 15 May 2013. Web.4 December. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/institutions-and-international-relations-99558>

"Institutions And International Relations Question", 15 May 2013, Accessed.4 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/institutions-and-international-relations-99558

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • International Relations Theories Question Set

    .. because the self, in this logic, becomes social though acquiring and fulfilling an institutional identity" (Dunne, Kurki, and Smith 181). 6.) What does it mean to say that identities and interests are mutually constituted? One of the central premises postulated by the constructivist theory of international relations is based on the concept of mutual constitution, a term describing a coexistent social relationship between states in which agency, or the element of

  • International Relations the International System

    Nations play the international finance game, manipulating the institutions that govern the world economy for their own benefit, and that of the corporations that operation within their borders. The problem of China has been particularly acute given the confluence of public and private as represented by its communistic system, and by the People's Republic's willingness to use the floating dollar to its own considerable economic advantage. By having pegged,

  • International Relations Treaty of Westphalia

    By the stipulation that a prince ought to surrender his territories if he altered his faith an obstruction was positioned in the manner of an additional increase of the Reformation. The announcement that all objections or rejections by whoever declared ought to be unfounded and annulled delivered a rage at the interference of the Roman curia in German dealings. The constitutional alterations set down by the treaty had extensive

  • International Relations Challenges in Approaching

    Conciliation seems to be more to the purpose, if opposing bodies are expected to work together to govern a country. Humphrey said in his study on From Victim to Victimhood, "By contrast, trials have played a much smaller role during political transition and thus have addressed far fewer victims. They have, however, been very important in re-establishing the authority of law and the state" (2003 184) What division of labor

  • International Relations Theory Due to Their Background

    international relations theory due to their background in agriculture related research and study, including a BSc. degree in agriculture, a master's degree was in agricultural development and a master's degree in sustainable development in agriculture. With regard to sustainable development this applicant was struck by the number of issues that were purely related to an understanding of the nation state and the crisis that it now faces in the

  • Lying in International Relations

    Lying in International Relations What are your thoughts on lying in international relations? International relations can be a very complicated issue and the relationships can be tenuous and easily broken if not handled correctly. The importance of a solid relationship cannot be underestimated. Countries with which a nation has a good relationship will be a source of economic support in terms of trade and lending of funds, a sharer of technological progression,

  • Politics International Relations Analysis of Theories the

    Politics International Relations Analysis of Theories The field of international relations is based on many competing and complementary theories. These include realism, liberalism, constructivism, dependency theory, Marxism, etc. The theories are many; the field is expansive. What international relations seek to do is both formulate and analyze international politics, and work concomitantly with world governments, non-governmental organizations, and multi-national corporations. Due to the nature of work in these global affairs, several of the


Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved