Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 50, 2008

Social and Political Philosophy

Filiz Coban
Pages 101-108

An Alternative Ontology in the International Relations Studies
Social Constructivism

Ontological issues are crucial and remarkable for International Relations scholars due to answering main questions of the dicipline as ‘what we observe in world politics’, ‘what’s going on’, ‘how states define who they are’ and ‘how states treat each other in interaction in terms of power and interests’. After Cold War debate on the end of the ideological clashes and the rise of the ‘clash of civilization’ have been begun and all the massacres that have taken place in recent years, like the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks on the World Trade Center in NYC, have been linked to cases of identity. This paper presents social constructivism is as a way of study of IR that fits within Post Cold War International System on account of it focuses on ideas, identities and culture. Social theory argues that social structure and shared ideas and beliefs construct and transform the meaning of who is ally or enemy. Constructivist perspective embodies power and interest is important factors in international relations but their effects are a function of culturally constituted ideas. On the perspective of ‘social constructivism’ as the point of departure, the paper evaluates the great divisions among people arise from the enmities that are constructed by national identity politics rather than cultural differences.

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