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Beyond constructivism: expanding the boundaries of international relations theory


  • Nicole V.T. Lugosi

    () (University of Alberta)


One of the key research areas of Political Science is the field of International Relations (IR). Many scholars who speak of IR in terms of its Great Debates understand constructivism as the critical turn in theory. The main appeal of constructivism is the application of identity to IR problems. Interrogating the social construction of world order and considering identity as a factor enables scholars to offer better, deeper explanations. However, other scholars insist the constructivist turn is not critical enough and befalls some of the same traps seen in traditional approaches, namely essentialism. In this paper, I take the position that to engage in more meaningful dialogue about identity that challenges common knowledge and assumptions, we must move beyond constructivist approaches to advance the field of IR. This task is timely given increased academic attention to current social and economic issues in Europe.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicole V.T. Lugosi, 2012. "Beyond constructivism: expanding the boundaries of international relations theory," Review of Applied Socio-Economic Research, Pro Global Science Association, vol. 3(1), pages 122-127, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:rse:wpaper:v:3:y:2012:i:1:p:122-127

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    identity; constructivism; discourse; IR theory.;

    JEL classification:

    • B59 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Other
    • F59 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - Other


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