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The Multidimensional Relationship Between Constructivist, Structuralist and Rationalist Thoughts

Eperjesi, Zoltán ; Urban, Judith

Revista Hiperboreea, 2014, Vol.1(1), pp.139-175 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    The Multidimensional Relationship Between Constructivist, Structuralist and Rationalist Thoughts
  • Author: Eperjesi, Zoltán ; Urban, Judith
  • Description: Theories of political constructivism (culturalist), structuralist and rationalist accounts are approaching the collapse of the Soviet Union (SU) from various angles. However, this paper argues that the above-mentioned traditional schools come to complementary conclusions (that are not mutually exclusive) despite their distinct starting points. One only has to put together the puzzle, because no single modern approach can process at once all the intricacy of contemporary global politics and historical events or happenings. For instance, the influence of structural realism has declined nowadays due to its incapability to predict the collapse of the SU. However, academics managed to resuscitate this theorem by skilfully melting it with agent-centred designs. Conversely, not even constructivism can estimate long-term historical change, such as the end of the Cold War because adepts of this approach do not think about how interests were created. They suppose that everybody has the same interests but by supposing this, one would totally ignore the topic of inequality. Interests are coined by power and political or economic influence, even if rules and values could change over time through diverse interactions. Political thinkers developed competitive theoretical schools by putting emphasis on diverse causes by clarifying various political, historical, social or cultural issues. Rational choice (rationalist), constructivism or culturalist and structuralist views have their own research tools and suppositions, but interestingly the predominant approach is none of these competing traditional schools, because currently neo-institutionalism seems to overcome all of them. This development is simply astonishing, also because scholars of postcommunism mostly applied rationalist methods in their analyses. This is especially true if considering the wide-ranging fields of comparative politics and history (outcomes of comparative analysis). Authors of this paper do not want to construct a hierarchy among these systematic explanations, because (in their opinion) these approaches can function in a complementary way, especially if someone wants to observe and explain socio-historical, political or other problems.
  • Language: English
  • Subjects: History ; Visual Arts
  • Source: Central and Eastern European Online Library (C.E.E.O.L.)
  • Identifier: E-ISSN: 2284-5666
  • Relation: Revista Hiperboreea, 2014, Vol.1(1), pp.139-175

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