Realism and Constructivist Approaches of IR Course/Number: Date: Introduction Alexander Wendt makes a statement to the effect that if the United States and the Soviet Union had decided that they were no longer enemies, the Cold War would have been over…
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The veracity of Wendt’s positing will thus be analyzed in the ensuing discussion that is to materialize forthwith. For one, Wendt’s postulation can be seen to be true, given that it acknowledges the place of realism in international relations. Realism acknowledges the state as the most important actor in the field of diplomacy and international politics. Because of this, national governments are the most important players in international politics, in lieu of non-state actors such as international organizations (e.g., Amnesty International and the Red Cross) and eminent persons such as the Pope. Similarly, Wendt’s standpoint can also be vindicated by the credibility of constructivism in international relations. In international relations, constructivism advances the notion that important aspects of diplomacy and global politics are socially and historically contingent, rather than being inevitable consequences stemming from human nature and the dynamics of world politics. The truthfulness in Wendt’s postulation is predicated upon the fact that the state is a unitary and rational player in international relations. By being a unitary and rational player, it is meant that states speak with one voice. ...
According to Jackson (2007), the standpoint immediately above validates Wendt’s postulation to the effect that the US and Soviet Union could unpredictably end the Cold War and their inimical relations because this is the very historical development that took shape. It is true that the US and the Soviet Union ended the Cold War, with the tearing down of the Berlin Wall on November 9th, 1989 and the Re-Unification of Germany on October 3rd, 1990 being done to this effect. Since then, relations between the US and members of the Soviet block have been active and relatively stable, though there have been instances of tension, as was seen in 2008 when Russia invaded Georgia, following Tbilisi’s attempts to re-exert authority and control over its breakaway regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The immediately foregoing illustrates that states are the chief actors in international relations and that they are unitary and rational in their actions. The US, having its domestic actors such as the Congress (just as the Soviet Union) and local political games, is a matter that does not hinder it from identifying its chief national interest (Jervis & Art, 1985). The Soviet Union and the United States, having the prerogatives to end the Cold War if they had wished to, is a matter that is underscored by them being the very participants who stoked the Cold War tension against each other. This is well illustrated by the Cuban Missile Crisis, which took place between 16th and 28th of October 1962, as the most serious Cold War standoff between America and the Soviet Union. Having discovered the Soviet Union’s intention to position nuclear missiles in the Socialist Cuba, the US dispatched naval blockade to stop Soviet Union ships from varying missiles to Cuba. On
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