Author’s note: For their comments and criticisms of this effort, we thank Lisa Baglione, Jacqueline Best, Bruce Cronin, Colin Hay, Ronald Krebs, Jennifer Lobasz, the late Steve Poe, and Alexander Wendt. The usual disclaimers apply.
Exogenous Shocks or Endogenous Constructions? The Meanings of Wars and Crises
Version of Record online: 27 NOV 2007
International Studies Quarterly
Volume 51, Issue 4, pages 747–759, December 2007
How to Cite
Widmaier, W. W., Blyth, M. and Seabrooke, L. (2007), Exogenous Shocks or Endogenous Constructions? The Meanings of Wars and Crises. International Studies Quarterly, 51: 747–759. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2478.2007.00474.x
- Issue online: 27 NOV 2007
- Version of Record online: 27 NOV 2007
This symposium addresses the role of wars and crises as mechanisms of international change. Over the past two decades, the international system has undergone a number of remarkable transformations, from the end of the Cold War to the emergence of an ongoing “War on Terror,” and from the collapse of statist development models to the emergence of a contested—if evolving—neoliberal “Washington Consensus.” This volatility exceeds any underlying shifts in economic structures or the distribution of capabilities, and raises important questions regarding the roles of agency, uncertainty, and ideas in advancing change. In this introduction we examine the role of wars and economic crises as socially constructed openings for change. We attempt three things: to critique materialist approaches in the security and political economy issue areas, to outline the distinctive contribution that an agent-centered constructivist understanding of such events offers, and to offer a framework for the study of such events, one which highlights an expanded range of elite-mass interactions.