Aufbauseminar (Gruppe 6): Constructivism and Poststructuralism in International Relations (IR) (200008)


Seminar, 2 SWS

Unterrichtssprache Englisch

Zeit und Ort: Di 10:00 - 12:00, WSP2 - R.211

Voraussetzungen / Organisatorisches

Prerequisites / Organisational information

Für Information zu ECTS-Punkte siehe:

For Information about ECTS-Points cf.:


The seminar commences with a critical appraisal of Alexander Wendt’s Social Theory of International Politics, since this is not only one of the most widely processed and reviewed constructivist works in the field of IR, but also makes use of a sophisticated concept of culture and is essential for gaining a constructivist understanding of culture and ideas in international politics. Wendt’s theory offers intriguing insights into the ‘structure’ of international politics. However, Wendt has been criticized for a number of reasons, which will be the focus of the second part of the seminar. Here, we will transcend constructivist theorizing and develop an explicitly poststructuralist perspective on IR theory.


April 9, 2019
Introduction, seminar structure, requirements

April 16, 2019
No seminar

April 23, 2019
Wendt’s Scientific Realism and the role of ideas
Wendt 1999, ch. 1, 2 & 3

April 30, 2019
Structure, agency and the role of the state
Wendt 1999, ch. 4 & 5

May 7, 2019
Culture and change
Wendt 1999, ch. 6 & 7

May 14, 2019
Wendt’s philosophy vs. poststructuralist philosophies
Guzzini/Leander 2006, ch. 4-5, plus parts of Nabers 2015

May 21, 2019
Identity in Wendt’s work vs. radical notions of identity
Guzzini/Leander 2006, ch. 6-7

May 28, 2019
World politics from a poststructuralist perspective
Nabers, part 1.

June 4, 2019
Mind and world in poststructuralism
Nabers, part 2.

June 11, 2019
Discourse and discourse theory in poststructuralism
Nabers, part 3.

June 18, 2019
Poststructuralism and the ‘war on terror’
Nabers, part 4.

June 25, 2019
Poststructuralism as Global Political Sociology

July 2, 2019
Summary and conclusions

Empfohlene Literatur:
Recommended literature / Required Reading:

Guzzini Stefano, Leander, Anna (2006) Constructivism in International Relations. Alexander Wendt and his Critics. London/New York: Routledge.

Wendt, Alexander (1999) Social Theory of International Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Nabers, Dirk (2015) A Poststructuralist Discourse Theory of Global Politics. London/New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Institution: Fach Politikwissenschaft
Department: Political Science