Scott Bobb of Voice of America News. As the civil war in Syria grinds on, refugees flood into crowded camps. Washington remains cautious about intervening militarily. Iran, Russia, Israel and Iraq pursue their own agendas.
A Comparison of Realism and Constructivism Ksawery LisinskiMay 3views This content was written by a student and assessed as part of a university degree. There are many theories of how international political arena works, i. A very popular metaphor states that international relations should be understood as a set of lenses; each lens allows us to see only a fragment of the whole picture, hence we cannot limit ourselves to only one theory.
For instance, it is impossible to bring reconciliation between realism, that assumes constant struggle between states, and liberalism, which concludes something very opposite, meaning the possibility of peaceful and just relations.
Consequently, there is a dispute between academics regarding which theory offers the most accurate explanation of the IR system. One of the most basic problems of IR is how to explain the phenomenon of war.
At first it seems a very simple question — war is a military conflict between two, or more, parties. However, difficulties arise when we reflect on why wars break out. While a Marxist would say that elites in wealthy states wage wars to exploit the poorer people, a realist would argue that war is connected with human behavior, so wars are naturally occurring phenomena.
Additionally, a neo-realist would assume that the absence of higher authority in international arena results in anarchical system and hence state of war.
Therefore the aim of this essay is to evaluate the usefulness of two theories, realism and constructivism, in accounting for war. The analysis will hopefully reveal the strengths and weaknesses of both approaches.
The theories of IR differ solely because they are built on different premises. Additionally, the states work in an anarchical system, meaning in the absence of higher, trans-governmental and universally recognizable authority no rules are applied in the international realm.
The other assumption is that politics is driven by law of human behavior- the mix of urges like the drive for powers, will to dominate, self-interest and ambition. Realism offers a rather cynical explanation: Wars may be fought either to protect or expand security of the states both the aggressor and the attacked may fight to protect their security- one to defend its country directly, the other by eliminating the threat the other country poses to its security or interests.
A clear example would be the Second World War and events that preceded the outbreak of the war. Starting war with Poland and Western Europe should be perceived as purely ideological move, though war with Russia known as Operation Barbarossa was aimed at securing oil resources in Baku and Caucasus.
The reference to law of human behavior is probably the strongest argument of realists. For it is undeniable that in the history of mankind there were many leaders or generals that fought battles for the sole purpose to feed their personal ambitions, i.
Therefore realism seems as a very feasible and reasonable theory. The cynicism of realism comes from the assumption that war is unavoidable and a constant element of our nature, while ideas and ideologies are of no importance. That is ideologies serve the purpose of arguing in favor of war using various arguments at different times.
We might feel insulted by this view, and yet whether it is Alexander calling his soldiers to fight for Greece, Attila the Hun persuading his to plunder the cities of Western and Eastern Rome, Napoleon fighting under the cloak of French Revolution and freedom, or Khrushchev pretending to care about working people- one thing remains constant- we fight wars.
So even though it seems as there is some development in human thought, the true intentions remains the same through ages, and wars remain an extension of politics. It is hard not to appreciate realism and its account for war, since history seems to favor it.
Constructivism, on the other hand, represents much more complex approach. It views the priority of ideas and human consciousness hence the core assumptions: The striking difference between realism and constructivism lies in the approach to ideas — the latter demands that we take seriously the role of ideas in world politics, while the former completely disregards it.
However, we already saw that realism has much historical evidence in its favor, so is it even possible to defend social constructivism? Not only it is possible, but constructivism even offers a much more accurate account for war. To start with, statism is a flawed concept, for history has ample evidence that state power is being challenged from both above and below.Social constructivism definitely sheds light on the Syrian crisis because this theory explains a significant part of the social organization of the country in a historical and social context and its impact on the society of the country and its impact on international relations.
Constructivism and the Syrian Civil War Essay Constructivism is a normative international relations theory that seeks to understand the importance of society’s actions and extrapolate its .
Based on the constructivist view, the Civil War in Syria is initiated by the identity conflict between two groups which are the Assad’s regime and the rebel.
Assad’s regime originates from minority Alawite, who made up 12 percent of the Syria population and also dominates most of the position in . Learning through real-world experiences with others allows students to grow and understand things more easily. In this lesson, we'll examine constructivism in depth, including social learning, the.
The collapse of Syria into chaos potentially creates serious problems for American allies like Turkey and Israel, but this is an argument for either mediating an end to the civil war or tacitly. An advance organizer is a very useful tool for teachers to help students understand, retain and remember new learning material.
In this lesson, we define an advance organizer and discuss examples.