Alexander Wendt is Associate Professor of Political Science at Yale University.
For their exceptionally detailed and helpful comments I am grateful to Mike Barnett, Mlada Bukovansky, Bud Duvall, Peter Katzenstein, Mark Laffey, David Lumsdaine, Sylvia Maxfield, Nina Tannenwald, Jutta Weldes, and the members of the Yale IR Reading Group.
1. John J. Mearsheimer, "The False Promise of International Institutions," International Security, Vol. 19, No. 3 (Winter 1994/95). Subsequent references appear in parentheses in the text.
2. Other efforts include Robert Gilpin, "The Richness of the Tradition of Political Realism," International Organization, Vol. 38, No. 2 (Spring 1984), pp. 287-304, and Markus Fischer, "Feudal Europe, 800-1300," International Organization, Vol. 46, No. 2 (Spring 1992), pp. 427-466.
3. On neoliberalism and critical theory, see Robert Keohane, "International institutions: Two approaches," International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 32, No. 4 (December 1988), pp. 379-396, and Wendt, "Collective Identity Formation and the International State," American Political Science Review, Vol. 88, No. 2 (June 1994), pp. 384-396. Mearsheimer treats collective security as a third form of institutionalism, but this is unwarranted. Collective security is an approach to international order, arguable on either neoliberal or critical grounds, not a form of institutional analysis.
4. This makes them all "constructivist" in a broad sense, but as the critical literature has evolved, this term has become applied to one particular school.
5. These are far more than differences of "emphasis," as suggested by Mearsheimer's disclaimer, note 127.
6. "Constitute" is an important term in critical theory, with a special meaning that is not captured by related terms like "comprise," "consist of," or "cause." To say that "X [for example, a social structure] constitutes Y [for example, an agent]," is to say that the properties of those agents are made possible by, and would not exist in the absence of, the structure by which they are "constituted." A constitutive relationship establishes a conceptually necessary or logical connection between X and Y, in contrast to the contingent connection between independently existing entities that is established by causal relationships.
The identity-behavior distinction is partly captured by Robert Powell's distinction between preferences over outcomes and preferences over strategies; Robert Powell, "Anarchy in International Relations Theory," International Organization, Vol. 48, No. 2 (Spring 1994), pp. 313-344. The main exception to the mainstream neglect of structural effects on state identity is Kenneth Waltz's argument that anarchy produces "like units"; Kenneth Waltz, Theory of International Politics (Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1979), pp. 74-77. Constructivists think there are more possibilities than this; see Alexander Wendt, "Anarchy is What States Make of It: The Social Construction of Power Politics," International Organization, Vol. 46, No. 2 (Spring 1992), pp. 391-425.
7. What follows could also serve as a rough definition of "discourse."
8. See Karl Deutsch, et al., Political Community and the North Atlantic Area (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1957).
9. For a good general discussion of this point, see Douglas Porpora, "Cultural Rules and Material Relations," Sociological Theory, Vol. 11, No. 2 (July 1993), pp. 212-229.
10. On the social content of interests, see Roy D'Andrade and Claudia Strauss, eds., Human Motives and Cultural Models (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992).
11. See Alexander Wendt, "The Agent-Structure Problem in International Relations Theory," International Organization, Vol. 41, No. 3 (Summer 1987), pp. 335-370; and, for fuller discussion, Ian Shapiro and Alexander Wendt, "The Difference that Realism Makes," Politics and Society, Vol. 20, No. 2 (June 1992), pp. 197-223.
12. See, among others, Michael Barnett, "Institutions, Roles, and Disorder," International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 37, No. 3 (September 1993), pp. 271-296; David Lumsdaine, Moral Vision in International Politics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993); Samuel Barkin and Bruce Cronin, "The State and the Nation," International Organization, Vol. 48, No. 1 (Winter 1994), pp. 107-130; Rey Koslowski and Friedrich Kratochwil, "Understanding Change in International Politics," International Organization, Vol. 48, No. 2 (Spring 1994), pp. 215-248; Thomas Biersteker and Cynthia Weber, eds., State Sovereignty as Social Construct (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming); and Peter Katzenstein, ed., Constructing National Security (working title), forthcoming.
13. On the social basis of conflict, see Georg Simmel...