- The Oxford Handbooks of Political Science
- About the Contributors
- Between Utopia and Reality: The Practical Discourses of International Relations
- The State and International Relations
- From International Relations to Global Society
- The Point is Not Just to Explain the World but to Change It
- A Disabling Discipline?
- Eclectic Theorizing in the Study and Practice of International Relations
- The Ethics of Realism
- The Ethics of Marxism
- Neoliberal Institutionalism
- The Ethics of Neoliberal Institutionalism
- The New Liberalism
- The Ethics of the New Liberalism
- The English School
- The Ethics of the English School
- The Ethics of Constructivism
- Critical Theory
- The Ethics of Critical Theory
- The Ethics of Postmodernism
- The Ethics Of Feminism
- Methodological Individualism and Rational Choice
- Sociological Approaches
- Psychological Approaches
- Quantitative Approaches
- Case Study Methods
- Historical Methods
- International Political Economy
- Strategic Studies
- Foreign‐Policy Decision‐Making
- International Ethics
- International Law
- Scholarship and Policy‐Making: Who Speaks Truth to Whom?
- International Relations: The Relevance of Theory to Practice
- International Relations from Below
- International Relations Theory from a Former Hegemon
- The Concept of Power and the (Un)discipline of International Relations
- Locating Responsibility: The Problem of Moral Agency in International Relations
- Big Questions in the Study of World Politics
- The Failure of Static and the Need for Dynamic Approaches to International Relations
- Six Wishes for a More Relevant Discipline of International Relations
- Name Index
- Subject Index
Abstract and Keywords
Social constructivism has increasingly been seen as one of the chief theoretical contenders in contemporary scholarship in international relations. As a research program, one of its main substantive contributions to the field has been to show that moral norms — and thus ethics — matter in world politics. In this very agenda itself, constructivist scholars have embodied ethical commitments — at its most basic level this most often has been one of challenging realist scepticism concerning the possibilities for progressive moral change. Yet the plausibility of such ethical positions has typically been defended by constructivists on rigorous empirical terms — showing that human rights norms or norms of warfare can matter, for example — rather than on comparably rigorous normative grounds (that such norms are ethically desirable). This article briefly outlines the trajectory of the constructivist research programme, arguing that its development and responses to its critics have now led it — and its challengers — centrally to explicit engagement with ethical questions. It then considers the extent to which constructivism can be said to entail a distinctive ethic at all, and outlines its potential contributions to addressing global ethical challenges.
Political Science, University of British Columbia
Richard Price is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia.
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