A either/or” (Keohane 2000). A prime example of

final criticism is Wendt’s sketchiness in describing the balance between his
idealism and materialism. Wendt does not explain the consequences of encounters
between ideas and the realities “out there” nor does he imagine the likelihood
of autonomous identity changes on either the structure or the agent. Steve Smith
argues that Wendt’s constitutive theorizing ironically ride upon the same
social scientific biases as causal theorizing: ideas are supported in tandem
with materialism. Robert Keohane states that Wendt’s dichotomy between
materialist and idealist arguments is problematic because “the social world is
not of either/or” (Keohane 2000). A prime example of this is the fact that
Soviet foreign policy was both determined by the geographical position of
Russia and its material resources on the one hand and by Marxism-Leninist ideas
and traditional Russian views of world politics on the other hand. (Rouillon,
2016). In his article “Ideas part-way down”, Keohane responds to Wendt’s
question “Ideas all the way down?” by arguing that the issue is less “how far
down?” than how ideas are mixed with material forces and entrenched in enduring
institutions to yield different results.

offers a significant starting point for advanced debate and the pursuit of
constructivist empirical analysis. It is undeniable that Wendt’s critique of rationalist
theories effectively questions the “seemingly intangible assumptions that
underpin the construction of reality” (Bliddal et al., 2014). This delivers a
valuable theory that remains contemporarily valid. Encompassing elements of
realism and institutional theory contained inside a constructivist framework,
Wendt expertly highlights the part played by ideational forces in the
construction and remaking of the international system. t. SToIP lets scholars distinguish
between accurately material and ideational explanations, and between
perceptions that accentuate the role of states as actors and those that include
transnational forces and divisions within societies. It has highlighted the
effectiveness of diplomacy as a tool for reducing high levels of misinterpretation
that can obstruct cooperation.  However,
Wendt has failed to convince us of the central component that anarchy tied to varying
distributions of power has no logic, only that constructivist variables can conceivably
inhibit levels of uncertainty. Wendt fails to assess how rational, modern-day
statesmen deal with problems of future uncertainty due to its tendency to
analyse historical process. Wendt’s theory may be improved by attempting to
test theories that fall outside of Wendt’s target area. Perhaps there could be
more of a focus on domestic interactions – providing new conceptions of self
and other, which could affect state inclinations to bring about conflictual or
cooperative behavior. The irony of constructivism is that the volatility of
human ideational structures at the domestic level strengthens leaders’
uncertainty about future intentions at the interstate level.

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