BackgroundThe ProxyWar between the United States and the Soviet Union has been an unforgettableevent 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 greatestdebates until now because it create a big curiosity from many philosophers,thinkers, and also researchers. The study of the proxy wars never dims. Most ofthe philosophers, thinkers and philosophers use the realism or the neo-realismas the approach as it is the classical approach among all. The realistsmay argue that the proxy war is led by the anarchy in which describe at timeswhere the international systems is absence of power that means that no one cancontrol the war and it can happen at any time and lead to the desire of anation to survive by the self-help systems.
The threats given by the systemscreate fear to any state actors due to their believe that human or other actorsare egoist, competitive and evil to each other that makes self-help as the onlyway for the state to survive from the power competitions within the systems. Inthe competition to survive, the self-help actions by a state will build up theinsecurity of other state that followed by the greater self-help actions then continuouslyhappen in that way which put the actors in the security dilemma, thecompetition of (military) power distribution. That how the proxy war in 1947happen, the power competition within the security dilemma with the indirectattack by the superpowers.The neorealism approach towards the proxy war. Similar to the realist approach, thewar is led by the balancing of the power and the power competing in order togain power to survive. But, difference from the realism which emphasize on thehuman nature that are egoist, competitive and tends to dominate as the leadingcause of war, the neo-realism defined that the war is led by the internationalsystems itself, anarchy. The anarchy systems leaves no choice to the states inthe power competition in order to survive.
The systems in neo-realism does notdefine the states as they are (variety) but only see them and grouped them intothe powerful states or the weak states. The proxywar in the realism perspectives happen simply led by the human nature itselfthat tends to dominate others under anarchy but in neo-realism, the anarchy asthe given international systems is what led the proxy war in the purpose ofevery 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)Undeniablythat the realism and the neo-realism as the classical theories are still highlyconsidered in the study which represents the rationalist. Along with theknowledge evolution, many new theories are found and many other perspectivesare being widely used. In 1992, a German political scientist named AlexanderWendt writes an article “Anarchy is What State Make of it: The SocialConstruction of Power Politics” as a complementary theory of anarchy inneo-realism as a reflectivist on the social construction that see theinternational systems anarchy as the social construction not given. He describeon how the others factors (collective knowledge) in the interaction processamong actors construct of what is said as a given systems.In thiswriting, the writer will examine the Alexander Wendt thinking theories”Anarchy is What State Make of it: The Social Construction of PowerPolitics” and apply it into the Proxy war on 1947 as the study case. Thestudy case will be examine after the summarized theory of the Alexander Wendtarticle and then followed by the conclusion in the finals of this writing. Thiswriting aims to the researchers, lecturers and the students of internationalrelations and international studies who is learning or need to learn abouttheories. The writer hopes that after reading this writing, the readers wouldhave a broader perspectives on seeing the international politics and theinternational systems then realize that learning multi perspectives isimportant 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 thecollective value and knowledge construct the Proxy War on 1947?” TheoriesAnarchy is What State Make of it. In the anarchy systems where generates thestates action and behavior there is found the identities and interest factorswhich underlies beyond the system. The actions towards the identities andinterests pursuing which is every nations’ goal create the state actions andbehavior toward each other. Along with the identities and interest race, eachstate feel competitive, no interaction, no relationship and there is not muchconversation because they believe that human nature is bad which describe allthe others states.
From this believe and these made up relation believe, eachstate actor react the same as others did and it created the internationalsystems the ways the actors defined themselves. Anarchy is what they name theirselves. Within the reaction process, the distribution of power is constructedbased on how the states defend their selves from the threat they imagined.States label the others to create hierarchies under the leadless world they arein as how they believe that build the greater insecurity in order to securethemselves.Anarchyis a process not a given systems. It is the process along with the interactionof the state’s action which depends on the distribution of knowledge thatconstitute the conception of self andother because state does not have the definition of self and other but it isbuild up along the process of interaction through the institutions. Theinstitution give way to the nation to gain their identity and interests whichthe action of other state will determine the action and behavior toward eachother.
Self-help is the intersubjective structure of institution under anarchythat see the constructed world as a threat rather than peace and the distributionof power affect the states calculation that depends on the intersubjectiveunderstanding and expectations on the distribution of knowledge that constituteof self and other conceptions. Therefore, the international relation imagedthat way. Self-help is nothing but belief of what states see of the world andthe decided actions toward it. The view of meaning depends on the process bywhich conceptions of self evolve so that the taken action through theinstitutions is fully a socialized systemic theory. The power politics evolvefrom the cycles of interaction from the mirror of the self-behavior conceptionof self-relation to others and the interaction produced through situatedactivity. Self-help emerge causally fromprocesses in which anarchy plays only a permissive role.
The organized action is arise out ofinteraction and the social threat are constructed day by day by processes, not anatural or given things.Thereare three institutional transformation of identity and security interestthrough which states might escape from a trap world of their own creation.First is the correlation between sovereignty, recognition and security. In theworld of permissive cause of war and among the predators states which thestates construct by themselves, the security and the survival of a state is notonly depends on the national powers but it depends on the recognition ofidentity, power and territory by others which transform the institution thatform a community which share the same ongoing practice. The practice preservethe property rights over particular territory, internalize sovereignty normsand the social dissemination that depends on the recognition by others as acornerstone of security. Second is thecooperation among egoists and transformation of identity. The identity andinterests which transforms to any cooperation is based on the self-ego that areafraid to corporate and being exploited but through the repetition corporation(play) each party will learns to form relatively stable expectations about theother behavior and through habits of cooperation form. The process ofcooperating tends to refine those reason through the process of reconstructingidentities and interests in term of new intersubjective understanding andcommitment.
The repetitive interaction build the cooperative institution thatholds the commitment. Third is the critical strategic theory and collectivesecurity. The critical strategic theory engage in the self-reflection andpractice designed by identities and interests with the different constructedvalue that might transform the world politics and a competitive securitysystems into a cooperative ones. (Wendt, 1992)Study CaseIn theanarchy where the neo-realism see as the given systems, the constructivistexplain it as the social construction. The neo-realism recognize the behavioralconception of both process and institutions changes but not identities andinterests.
Just as the liberalist which claim, the international institutions transformsthe identity and interest.The hegemonybetween The United States and The Soviet Unions as the bipolarity is sociallyconstituted. The United States as the leaders of the West Block and the SovietUnions as the East Block. It is about the changing of interests and identity ofthe nation. The changing of interests will be paid by the identity. It happenbecause of the possibilities lies in the social determination of self which isdefined the terms of the character and behavioral expectations of a person’srole identity and the personal determination of choice which is the choice ofthe appropriation and reaction to roles. Before the Proxy War, the territorialstruggle happen then led to the ideological war.
The United States already havesome states under control through the Marshall Plan. So, in there, the stateswhich get help from the United State are expect the United States as thealliance leader and the United State have the choice to lead or not and TheUnited States choose to lead and the interests is now change so does theidentity. 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 ischange the interest and the identity. Roles are not played based on a scriptsbut are taken and adapted in some ways by each others.
In theidentity and interests pursuing, the actions towards each nation will determinethe behavior and the taken action of others depends on the collective meaningsby the distribution of knowledge on how they constitute self and others conceptions.The behavior action of The United States is different towards the western blockcountries and towards the Soviet Union’s, conversely the action of the SovietUnion towards the eastern bloc is also different towards the United States, andthe action of the United States or the Soviet Unions is different to each otherthan their actions towards the blockade countries. The United States and theSoviet Union act differently towards the enemy than they do towards friendsbecause enemies are threatening them and also the distribution of power of theUnited States and the Soviet Unions are bigger towards each other but lesstowards the blockade countries. In theinteraction of defining self and other. The self-help by the United States andthe Soviet Unions through the military back up is the structure of the identityand interests. Self-help is the institutions which protect the identity andinterests as the organized actions arise out of interactions of states not aconstitute feature of the given anarchy. The anarchy plays no role. Both of theUnited Nations and the Soviet Unions act and react the same based on the insecurityof the identity and interest competition, self-help is the mirror of others onhow states are forced to act within the relationship.
Theexamination through the collective knowledge, clarify that the anarchy internationalsystems plays no role on the happened Proxy War. The Proxy War happen withinthe process of states identity and interest pursuing under the self-help institutionsto achieve the identity and interests. The identity and interests are whatstates construct them to be and it may changes along with the process. Theinteraction between states happen in the process and actions of the states isdetermine 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 theself helps security in protecting the identity and interest that evolve fromthe cycle of interaction which every state act is threatening and create theexpectations not to be trusted. In theinsecurity 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 asthe cause of the Proxy War.Conclusion In the studyof international relations especially in the international political systems.
Thereare many theories and perspectives that we can use to examine the cases. It isabout from which side we want to see it and how we see it. Just as the ProxyWar cases which most of the people tends to see it as something unavoidable andthat is how the systems is and how it should be, the writer prefer to see itfrom the others factors which might cause it happen. The factors of thecollective knowledge as the constructions leading.
From this collective knowledgeapproach, we can examine that the Proxy War can be avoided based on how thestates want to construct it. The war based on neo-realism is unavoidable becausethe states construct the value that way. The anarchy that seem as the givensystems is what the states construct it, describe it, name it and shared itthat way.
From the collective knowledge in the social construction approach,the causes of the Proxy War can be examine. The collective knowledge shaped astate identity and interest which determine the states action. The identity andinterests competition happen then insecurity occur. Self-help is the actions ofstates to secure their interest which evolve from cycles of interaction wherestates actions are threatening and the building expectation that others is notto be trusted.
The self is forced to mirror to act that ways. It is the competition of identities andinterest that is constructed by the states that cause the Proxy War not theanarchy systems. The distributionof 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 constructedwithin the process of the identity and interests construction where determineby the social expectation of self and the personal determination of choice. Howthe society defined the terms of expectation of a role as leaders and how thepersonal 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 collectivemeanings that constitutes the structures which organize the actions. It isabout how they want to construct it. If the United States and the Soviet Union decidesthat they are no longer enemies, the cold war is over but without the cold warto define their identities, maybe those states would be unsure of what theirinterest should be.
The International Political Systems is just like theeconomic markets which formed by the coaction of self-regarding units.