Background philosophers, thinkers and philosophers use the


The Proxy
War between the United States and the Soviet Union has been an unforgettable
event in the world history. The war which starts by the territorial struggle,
continues with the ideological war and end up with the proxy war or cold war.
The proxy war case has been studied since then and always be the greatest
debates until now because it create a big curiosity from many philosophers,
thinkers, and also researchers. The study of the proxy wars never dims. Most of
the philosophers, thinkers and philosophers use the realism or the neo-realism
as the approach as it is the classical approach among all.

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The realists
may argue that the proxy war is led by the anarchy in which describe at times
where the international systems is absence of power that means that no one can
control the war and it can happen at any time and lead to the desire of a
nation to survive by the self-help systems. The threats given by the systems
create fear to any state actors due to their believe that human or other actors
are egoist, competitive and evil to each other that makes self-help as the only
way for the state to survive from the power competitions within the systems. In
the competition to survive, the self-help actions by a state will build up the
insecurity of other state that followed by the greater self-help actions then continuously
happen in that way which put the actors in the security dilemma, the
competition of (military) power distribution. That how the proxy war in 1947
happen, the power competition within the security dilemma with the indirect
attack by the superpowers.

The neo
realism approach towards the proxy war. Similar to the realist approach, the
war is led by the balancing of the power and the power competing in order to
gain power to survive. But, difference from the realism which emphasize on the
human nature that are egoist, competitive and tends to dominate as the leading
cause of war, the neo-realism defined that the war is led by the international
systems itself, anarchy. The anarchy systems leaves no choice to the states in
the power competition in order to survive. The systems in neo-realism does not
define the states as they are (variety) but only see them and grouped them into
the powerful states or the weak states.

The proxy
war in the realism perspectives happen simply led by the human nature itself
that tends to dominate others under anarchy but in neo-realism, the anarchy as
the given international systems is what led the proxy war in the purpose of
every nation to survive. In realism, power is the goal but in neo-realism,
power purpose of the means of an end but goal is the survival. (Mearsheimer, 2016)

that the realism and the neo-realism as the classical theories are still highly
considered in the study which represents the rationalist. Along with the
knowledge evolution, many new theories are found and many other perspectives
are being widely used. In 1992, a German political scientist named Alexander
Wendt writes an article “Anarchy is What State Make of it: The Social
Construction of Power Politics” as a complementary theory of anarchy in
neo-realism as a reflectivist on the social construction that see the
international systems anarchy as the social construction not given. He describe
on how the others factors (collective knowledge) in the interaction process
among actors construct of what is said as a given systems.

In this
writing, the writer will examine the Alexander Wendt thinking theories
“Anarchy is What State Make of it: The Social Construction of Power
Politics” and apply it into the Proxy war on 1947 as the study case. The
study case will be examine after the summarized theory of the Alexander Wendt
article and then followed by the conclusion in the finals of this writing. This
writing aims to the researchers, lecturers and the students of international
relations and international studies who is learning or need to learn about
theories. The writer hopes that after reading this writing, the readers would
have a broader perspectives on seeing the international politics and the
international systems then realize that learning multi perspectives is
important to see how the world is constructed based on how we choose to see it.
The world is not made on one way only.


Research Questions

“How is the
collective value and knowledge construct the Proxy War on 1947?”



Anarchy is What State Make of it.  In the anarchy systems where generates the
states action and behavior there is found the identities and interest factors
which underlies beyond the system. The actions towards the identities and
interests pursuing which is every nations’ goal create the state actions and
behavior toward each other. Along with the identities and interest race, each
state feel competitive, no interaction, no relationship and there is not much
conversation because they believe that human nature is bad which describe all
the others states. From this believe and these made up relation believe, each
state actor react the same as others did and it created the international
systems the ways the actors defined themselves. Anarchy is what they name their
selves. Within the reaction process, the distribution of power is constructed
based on how the states defend their selves from the threat they imagined.
States label the others to create hierarchies under the leadless world they are
in as how they believe that build the greater insecurity in order to secure

is a process not a given systems. It is the process along with the interaction
of the state’s action which depends on the distribution of knowledge that
constitute the conception  of self and
other because state does not have the definition of self and other but it is
build up along the process of interaction through the institutions. The
institution give way to the nation to gain their identity and interests which
the action of other state will determine the action and behavior toward each
other. Self-help is the intersubjective structure of institution under anarchy
that see the constructed world as a threat rather than peace and the distribution
of power affect the states calculation that depends on the intersubjective
understanding and expectations on the distribution of knowledge that constitute
of self and other conceptions. Therefore, the international relation imaged
that way. Self-help is nothing but belief of what states see of the world and
the decided actions toward it. The view of meaning depends on the process by
which conceptions of self evolve so that the taken action through the
institutions is fully a socialized systemic theory. The power politics evolve
from the cycles of interaction from the mirror of the self-behavior conception
of self-relation to others and the interaction produced through situated
activity.  Self-help emerge causally from
processes in which anarchy plays only a permissive role.  The organized action is arise out of
interaction and the social threat are constructed day by day by processes, not a
natural or given things.

are three institutional transformation of identity and security interest
through which states might escape from a trap world of their own creation.
First is the correlation between sovereignty, recognition and security. In the
world of permissive cause of war and among the predators states which the
states construct by themselves, the security and the survival of a state is not
only depends on the national powers but it depends on the recognition of
identity, power and territory by others which transform the institution that
form a community which share the same ongoing practice. The practice preserve
the property rights over particular territory, internalize sovereignty norms
and the social dissemination that depends on the recognition by others as a
cornerstone of security.  Second is the
cooperation among egoists and transformation of identity. The identity and
interests which transforms to any cooperation is based on the self-ego that are
afraid to corporate and being exploited but through the repetition corporation
(play) each party will learns to form relatively stable expectations about the
other behavior and through habits of cooperation form. The process of
cooperating tends to refine those reason through the process of reconstructing
identities and interests in term of new intersubjective understanding and
commitment. The repetitive interaction build the cooperative institution that
holds the commitment. Third is the critical strategic theory and collective
security. The critical strategic theory engage in the self-reflection and
practice designed by identities and interests with the different constructed
value that might transform the world politics and a competitive security
systems into a cooperative ones. (Wendt, 1992)

Study Case

In the
anarchy where the neo-realism see as the given systems, the constructivist
explain it as the social construction. The neo-realism recognize the behavioral
conception of both process and institutions changes but not identities and
interests. Just as the liberalist which claim, the international institutions transforms
the identity and interest.

The hegemony
between The United States and The Soviet Unions as the bipolarity is socially
constituted. The United States as the leaders of the West Block and the Soviet
Unions as the East Block. It is about the changing of interests and identity of
the nation. The changing of interests will be paid by the identity. It happen
because of the possibilities lies in the social determination of self which is
defined the terms of the character and behavioral expectations of a person’s
role identity and the personal determination of choice which is the choice of
the appropriation and reaction to roles. Before the Proxy War, the territorial
struggle happen then led to the ideological war. The United States already have
some states under control through the Marshall Plan. So, in there, the states
which get help from the United State are expect the United States as the
alliance leader and the United State have the choice to lead or not and The
United States choose to lead and the interests is now change so does the
identity. It is constructed through the social expectation. In the other side,
The Soviet Unions is also choose to lead the eastern side which the process is
change the interest and the identity. Roles are not played based on a scripts
but are taken and adapted in some ways by each others.

In the
identity and interests pursuing, the actions towards each nation will determine
the behavior and the taken action of others depends on the collective meanings
by the distribution of knowledge on how they constitute self and others conceptions.
The behavior action of The United States is different towards the western block
countries and towards the Soviet Union’s, conversely the action of the Soviet
Union towards the eastern bloc is also different towards the United States, and
the action of the United States or the Soviet Unions is different to each other
than their actions towards the blockade countries. The United States and the
Soviet Union act differently towards the enemy than they do towards friends
because enemies are threatening them and also the distribution of power of the
United States and the Soviet Unions are bigger towards each other but less
towards the blockade countries.

In the
interaction of defining self and other. The self-help by the United States and
the Soviet Unions through the military back up is the structure of the identity
and interests. Self-help is the institutions which protect the identity and
interests as the organized actions arise out of interactions of states not a
constitute feature of the given anarchy. The anarchy plays no role. Both of the
United Nations and the Soviet Unions act and react the same based on the insecurity
of the identity and interest competition, self-help is the mirror of others on
how states are forced to act within the relationship.

examination through the collective knowledge, clarify that the anarchy international
systems plays no role on the happened Proxy War. The Proxy War happen within
the process of states identity and interest pursuing under the self-help institutions
to achieve the identity and interests. The identity and interests are what
states construct them to be and it may changes along with the process. The
interaction between states happen in the process and actions of the states is
determine by the collective knowledge of the self-conceptions and other.  The process have no end, and the in the process,
states defined themselves, others, and the international systems based on the
self helps security in protecting the identity and interest that evolve from
the cycle of interaction which every state act is threatening and create the
expectations not to be trusted.  In the
insecurity by the identity competition, self is forced to mirror those behavior.
Within that process, it is how the neo-realism named it as the given anarchy as
the cause of the Proxy War.


In the study
of international relations especially in the international political systems. There
are many theories and perspectives that we can use to examine the cases. It is
about from which side we want to see it and how we see it. Just as the Proxy
War cases which most of the people tends to see it as something unavoidable and
that is how the systems is and how it should be, the writer prefer to see it
from the others factors which might cause it happen. The factors of the
collective knowledge as the constructions leading. From this collective knowledge
approach, we can examine that the Proxy War can be avoided based on how the
states want to construct it. The war based on neo-realism is unavoidable because
the states construct the value that way. The anarchy that seem as the given
systems is what the states construct it, describe it, name it and shared it
that way. From the collective knowledge in the social construction approach,
the causes of the Proxy War can be examine. The collective knowledge shaped a
state identity and interest which determine the states action. The identity and
interests competition happen then insecurity occur. Self-help is the actions of
states to secure their interest which evolve from cycles of interaction where
states actions are threatening and the building expectation that others is not
to be trusted. The self is forced to mirror to act that ways.  It is the competition of identities and
interest that is constructed by the states that cause the Proxy War not the
anarchy systems.

The distribution
of the power politics which happen in the Proxy War is also a social construction.
The United States and The Soviet Unions as the alliance leaders is constructed
within the process of the identity and interests construction where determine
by the social expectation of self and the personal determination of choice. How
the society defined the terms of expectation of a role as leaders and how the
personal takes the appropriation and reaction to the roles.

The Proxy War is something construct and avoidable.
The power distribution is also socially constructed. It is the collective
meanings that constitutes the structures which organize the actions. It is
about how they want to construct it. If the United States and the Soviet Union decides
that they are no longer enemies, the cold war is over but without the cold war
to define their identities, maybe those states would be unsure of what their
interest should be. The International Political Systems is just like the
economic markets which formed by the coaction of self-regarding units.