Constructivism appears to have taken a place in the literature on international relations (IR) theory in direct opposition to realism. Constructivists who claim their methodology is incompatible with realism focus on the association between realism & both materialism & rationalism. Realists who claim their paradigm is incompatible with constructivism focus for the most part on a perceived tendency for constructivists to be idealists or utopians. Neither argument, however, holds up. This essay examines constructivist epistemology & classical realist theory, contending that they are, in fact, compatible; not that constructivism is necessarily realist, but that constructivist research is as compatible with a realist worldview as with any other. Having a realist constructivism could prove useful in IR theory beyond clarifying methodological debates, including helping to specify the relationship between the study of power in international politics & the study of international relations as a social construction. 104 References. Adapted from the source document.
In Political Liberalism, John Rawls describes a metaethical procedure -- political constructivism -- whereby political theorists formulate political principles by assembling and reworking ideas from the public political culture. To many of his moral realist and moral constructivist critics, Rawls's procedure is simply a recent version of the "popular moral philosophy" that Kant excoriates in the Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals. In this article, I defend the idea of political constructivism on philosophical and political grounds. Initially, I argue that political constructivism is the best available methodology for self-legislating, socially embedded and fallible human beings; then I show that political constructivism may produce principles that could garner the principled assent of Euro-American Muslims such as Taha Jabir Al-Alwani. The article concludes by considering how political constructivism might be employed to formulate new political principles for Euro-American societies experiencing and confronting the Islamic revival. Adapted from the source document.