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The Controversial Conduct Of Us Foreign Policy Politics Essay

Firstly, constructivism helps to explain the consequences of the conduct of US foreign policy and not the conduct itself. One of the great advantages of constructivism as an international relations theory is that it focuses on the belief that our subjective understanding of objective conditions are what matter more. A constructivist seeing the world as socially constructed helps to explain who truly holds the power when it comes to changing the rules that the world is based on. It is society’s collective agreement that we should be living in a state structured world. Society’s acceptance as this being the case and why we live in a state structured world and what lead us to agree to this; is a typical constructivist standpoint. For example, the Egyptian revolution is an excellent example constructivists would use to explain how through Egyptians experiences under the US backed dictatorial rule of Hosni Mubarak on Egyptians for 30 years; Egyptians decided they were no longer going to live under a dictator. The bottom-up approach constructivists take help explain the consequences of the United States’ foreign policy conduct not the conduct itself. Furthermore, it can be argued that constructivism helps to explain in international relations how the US foreign policy crises can restore order to the international arena, because it is interesting to point out that once the Egyptian people began to demonstrate and call for the resignation of Hosni Mubarak, only at this point the United States denounced Hosni Mubarak despite 30 years of arming him financially and militarily. Once the United States began to denounce one of their major allies at the time, the role of identity politics began to come into effect. A factor that constructivists find important ‘because identities inform interests and, in turn, actions’ [2] as the United States’ denouncement of Hosni Mubarak came about because the image no longer gave a justification for the United States to continue to support the Mubarak regime. Taking this into account constructivism explains the shared agreement society has to denounce the conduct of US foreign policy.

Furthermore, one could argue that conduct of US foreign policy is better explained through the rubric of neoliberalism, as this explains the intentions behind the conduct of US foreign policy. It is indeed fair to say that the conduct of US foreign policy has been brutal and inhumane to say the least. One of the most significant examples to point to is the September 11 crisis a crisis that saw ‘military force asserted in place of diplomacy, rejection of treaties and foreign policy imposed on the rest of the world through an unchallenged law of empire’ [3] the politicisation and reaction to the attacks of 9/11 had meant that this was the beginning of new rationale within US foreign policy. To understand the conduct is to understand the steps taken to implement changes, particularly within the Middle East. One could argue that the growing Anti-American sentiment within Afghanistan exemplifies the conduct of US foreign policy as a negative approach. The war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the use of remote controlled drones means that the United States conduct foreign policy approach cannot be explained through constructivism but under the rubric of neoliberalism instead. Neoliberalism is the idea that states focus on absolute gain rather than relative gain. Therefore, this means that in order for the states to increase its own wealth is to simply take that wealth from another. Putting this definition into context, the war in Iraq is a perfect example of the United States foreign policy conduct that it was exploiting the natural resources of a country that has been ravaged by war; it was a country that was still recovering from the torment of the Gulf war. A region that is rich of natural resources, it was within the United States’ national interest to insure that oil and natural resources were controlled by them in order enhance the United States’ power over the world. Control over the flow of Middle Eastern oil means that it provides ‘a stupendous source of strategic power’ [4] -Eisenhower's words. Furthermore not only the crisis of the Iraq war, there are many examples to explain the conduct of US foreign policy. For example the 1973 Chilean Coup d'état where the democratically elected Salvador Allende was overthrown and killed, ironically, on the 11th September 1973, the Invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan, the unwavering support for Israel, atomic bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, backing brutal dictators. The United States’ conduct becomes apparent particularly during speeches where the constant assumption that the United States’ is in a position to speak on behalf of the international community were at times the ‘“international community" is a synonym for "US dictates”’ [5] . When explaining the conduct of US foreign policy, it is evident that neoliberalism helps to explain this rather than constructivism. Neoliberalism helps to identify the intentions of the US’ neoliberalism forces one to analyse what interests are being pursued and how those interest are being enforced, whereas constructivism seeks to understand what are the factors that has made policy makers to come to their decisions.

Additionally, it is important to understand what constructivism actually is and what other theories are best to explain the conduct of US foreign policy. Constructivism is based on dialectical materialism. The very phrase Constructivism comes from an artistic/cultural movement during the Russian Revolution. Constructivism as a social theory is based upon the works of Lev Vygotsky a Soviet child psychologist who was interested in how children learn. Vygotsky proposed that there was a dialectical relationship between our sensory experiences (material world), language and culture and all ofthese influence how meaning and knowledge is processed. Constructivism is a relevant theory in international relations because the idea of how we perceive our world influences decision making of leaders of states. Other theories focus on how states can co-operate or maximise their gain, but it is never really mentioned that traditions and beliefs could be equally important in understanding why a states makea certain choice. Therefore, placing this definition into context, this suggests that it is the political standpoint of the leaders that will ultimately define how the United States will conduct their foreign policy.

However, one could argue this is not the case as one of the disadvantages of using constructivism to explain the conduct of US foreign policy is that constructivism does not take into account the powerful lobbying groups within United States’ congress. For example, one of the most notable foreign policy conducts in US history is its unwavering support for Israel. Powerful lobbying groups such as AIPAC and the NRA significantly explain the conduct of US foreign policy much clearer than constructivism does. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama pledged AIPAC that if elected, his administration will provide ‘$30 billion in assistance to Israel over the next decade -- investments to Israel's security that will not be tied to any other nation’ [6] this explains that constructivism cannot be used to explain the conduct of US foreign policy as constructivism argues that the ‘the individual is the source of meaning’ [7] whereas in fact the individual ensuring that it complies with the lobbying groups interests influence the conduct of US foreign policy.

In conclusion, the factors that lead policy makers to pursue their interests are what constructivists study. The theoretical disintegration for the justification of major crises is the groundwork when understanding the world through a constructivist lens. This is the case because constructivism is the link between the rationale of policy makers and understanding the consequences of their actions, two factors which arguably lie at the heart of understanding international relations. America are as much interested in democracy just as much as Russia (during the Soviet Union) are interested in socialism the constant overthrow of democratic regimes, American’s support and aid correlates essentially with the improvement of the investment climb. If a country is willing to open itself to American penetration and control and access to resources and allow corporations to gain profits, the United States will support. Therefore, from a constructivist point of view how much of that belief structure do you have to share before you have international relations is at all? Therefore, constructivism is an ideology that is very much cantered around the individual, however it is not enough to explain the conduct of US foreign policy, neoliberalism is, ideologically, within a better place to explain the conduct of US foreign policy as the intentions of those most influential within American government, i.e. the lobbying groups of AIPAC, NRA and various American oil companies are example of the influential actors that influence the conduct of US foreign policy and this falls under the rubric of neoliberalism.

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