Conflict Resolution and Post-Conflict Reconstruction do not need to look far or innovate anew to find a general guide or theory that can be useful in practice. Social interaction, communicative construction, or social constructivism, by whatever name you call it, is easily adaptable to the various situations faced in resolving and reconciling conflict. Constructivism is already a cannon of theory in international relations (IR), with ideological roots in social constructivism (Dunne, et al. 189). This essay will focus on communicative interaction which is a part of social constructivism, as a means of understanding the identities and socially constructed realities of those in conflict and of those trying to mediate conflict. Thomas Luckmann’s 2008 article “On Social Interaction and the Communicative Construction of Personal Identity, Knowledge, and Reality” is used to underpin and explain the abstract ideas of social constructivism, or communicative construction.
International Political Harmony:
A Chinese Creation
This essay attempts to argue that China’s international political economy (IPE) reflects a new understanding of international relations theory (IRT) that can be partly defined by Western ideologies but constitutes an independent approach. China’s approach to global trade in the 21st century does possess numerous threads of thinking that resemble the Western IRT of Realism, Liberalism, and Marxism. None of those ideas can stand alone and adequately define how China assesses or acts about the phenomenon of globalization. Viewing China as a constructivist would, through identity and perspective, you can begin to see how Chinese thinkers are developing IRT through a uniquely Chinese narrative. Using resources about a perceived trade war with the United States will highlight the possible development of a new IRT built upon harmony and not solely based on the spectrum between self-interest and cooperation.
The theory of constructivism lends greatly to understanding the institutions of international law (IL) and why they are obeyed, how they are created, how they evolve, and how they become anew throughout international relations (IR). Examining theories by Sean Murphy will provide literature that bolsters the contribution constructivism has bestowed upon IL. Jutta Brunnee’s and Stephen Toope’s work with interactional theory will be highlighted to show how IL works quite seamlessly with constructivism within IR. Coupling constructivism with interactional theory allows the building of an imaginary graph on which we can plot the interpretation and understanding of norms and laws within IR. Uta Kohl’s writing pertaining to governance surrounding the internet, specifically the issues of jurisdiction, will be examined in order to show constructivism and interactional theory in practice.
Access to the ability to achieve an elevated sense of livelihood is uneven within the broad process of globalization. This is especially true in a more knowledge-based economy, which seems to be the current norm. Inequality of this kind is not only between nation-states, but for each and every one of us within our respective countries. Using alternative theories such as dependency theory, international political economy and geographical political economy, the dynamics of inequality will be highlighted and explored. Incorporating material pertaining to neoliberal theory, hegemony, regimes, and denationalization will show the discord surrounding the causal effects of uneven development. These theories, however, do not disprove developmental inequality but rather add depth and nuance to the argument. Focused emphasis in the regions of Latin America, and Southeast Asia – including China and Japan – will be used to build a case-study. These regions will illuminate how uneven development looks within international systems, and possible methods of reaching a more sustainable equilibrium.