As it is known, the constructivist political philosophy of international relations assesses the importance of historical context in achieving the conditions of global peace. More specifically, constructivism is based not on using material resources and values of the world to explore the nature of international relations but on an in-depth analysis of the socio-ethnic aspects and history connecting countries. In this sense, the best analogy would be an example from the theory of International relations, which argues that five hundred British nuclear weapons prove to be less dangerous to the United States than five from North Korea (McGlinchey, 2017). As can be seen from this case study, constructivism seeks to explore the geopolitical agenda, considering all the many factors that exist.
From this perspective, the study of shared norms and standards can lead to conclusions about why such universals were created for the world community in the first place. The desire to unify the world by developing and implementing global pacts and prescriptions, whether for nuclear arms control or global warming management initiatives, is thus an aspiration to constructively protect the world from deviations. Constructivism encompasses many factors that bind countries together, so it is most likely that there will ever be a contradiction between them. The social context turns out to be critical, and any development of historical problems between states can be the cause of the formation of a world crisis.
One of the most obvious examples may be Hitler’s Germany in the middle of the last century, which carried out genocide and unleashed World War II in pursuit of its interests. Nevertheless, today’s Germany is one of the centers of the largest association of states with different histories and different interests, namely the European Union. An application of the philosophy of constructivism shows that it is ineffective and impractical to view Germany purely through the prism of the Fascist era, but instead, all aspects of the German state should be taken into context.
From a constructivist perspective, countries are bound by common standards to prevent national threats. In general, the concept of “national threat” proves to be unworkable concerning this policy, as priority is given to ensuring the security of the global community, and therefore of all citizens of all countries (Weldes, 1996). Weldes wrote that national interests are slowly ceasing to be the only important strategy for the vision of geopolitical action, but instead, the universal, cosmopolitan “state” is gaining importance. The formation of these unified norms allows for the constructive management of security through the creation of alliances and associations, which are proving extremely useful for international cooperation.
For example, the European Union erases the historical contradictions between member states because, within this European community, they are all aimed at improving the common quality of life, not just in one country. A secure community is also achieved through the intergovernmental association ASEAN, which focuses on synergies to enhance each member country’s economic growth and socio-cultural progress (NTI, 2019). Thus, the unification of countries through common standards solves the “problematic” diversification, in which contradictions and international conflicts arise between countries. The strategy in this sense is transparent: focusing on the protection of the international community reduces the priority of national interests — but does not eliminate them — which in turn helps to achieve the security of an extended global society.
One of the relatively new theories of international relations is the liberal theory. The foundation of this philosophy is based on the democratic values of recognizing the freedom and inalienable rights of every individual in the state. The standard interpretation of political liberalism boils down to the fact that the state cannot and should not interfere in the personal life of the citizen, who is protected by privacy rights. When liberal theory is extrapolated to international relations, it is observed that democratic states do not engage in military conflicts with each other and respect each other’s sovereign borders. To put it another way, robust democracies such as the United States do not implement military expansions in the Middle East if they follow the liberal theory of international relations. Neither do they dictate the rules of the Ukrainian crisis in relations with Russia, but they recognize equal freedoms and guarantees of an independent determination of national paths of development.
The choice of the U.S. for this issue was not accidental because, with the arrival of the 46th President Joe Biden after the impulsive and scandal-ready Donald Trump, the United States has taken a noticeable course towards liberalism. Primarily, Joe Biden is typical of the Democratic Party, having defeated Republican Trump in 2020. Biden’s affiliation with precisely the Democratic Party is one of the first predictors of the U.S. becoming on the path of liberal geopolitics. However, there is no doubt to believe that this is the only factor that unambiguously characterizes the modern United States. On the contrary, Biden’s recent achievements in securing global peace reflect well the liberal theory of international relations principles.
One of the most prominent examples is how the Biden administration dealt with the coup d’état in Afghanistan in the late summer of 2021. President George W. Bush, Jr. or even Trump almost certainly would have ordered a massive military operation to return local authorities loyal to the United States to Afghanistan. However, Democrat Biden withdrew U.S. troops from Afghanistan and stated that “…in keeping with that agreement and with our national interests, the United States will begin our final withdrawal — begin it on May 1 of this year” (Remarks by President Biden, 2021, para. 11). This speech is an example of the liberal behavior of the President on the issue of international politics, where not only national interests but also the sovereignty of other countries is taken into account.
Another of Biden’s landmark decisions was the repeal of bills initiated by his predecessor. In particular, Trump began the process of withdrawing the U.S. from the WHO international organization, which would have meant national interests taking precedence over the global agenda, especially in such dire times of pandemics. Joe Biden withdrew this initiative, giving the international organization a chance to continue to receive support from the U.S. Biden also initiated a return to the global discourse on keeping the pace of climate change, which is known to be an essential part of international relations built on the integration of science, technology, and politics (Bernauer, 2013). This, too, is an example of liberal theory, as it implicitly takes into account the freedoms of the entire global community.
If the U.S. were to withdraw from membership in the WHO, it would be a severe blow to the organization and would affect the well-being of other countries. In addition, Biden has actively demonstrated that he is ready for respectful cooperation with the European Union and NATO countries upon entering his presidential term, which implies partnership and recognition of sovereign borders. Unlike Trump, who has often accused European countries of ineffective policies, the Biden administration has so far engaged in democratic negotiations and mutual respect.
Bernauer, T. (2013). Climate change politics. Annual Review of Political Science, 16, 421-448. Web.
McGlinchey, S. (2017). International relations theory (E-IR foundations). E-International Relations.
NTI. (2019). Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). NTI. Web.
Remarks by President Biden on the way forward in Afghanistan. (2021). The White House. Web.
Weldes, J. (1996). Constructing national interests. European Journal of International Relations, 2(3), 275-318. Web.