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Stretching the IR theoretical spectrum on Irish neutrality: a critical social constructivist framework

Devine, Karen (2008) Stretching the IR theoretical spectrum on Irish neutrality: a critical social constructivist framework. International Political Science Review, 29 (4). p. 461. ISSN 0192-5121

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In a 2006 International Political Science Review article, entitled "Choosing to Go It Alone: Irish Neutrality in Theoretical and Comparative Perspective," Neal G. Jesse argues that Irish neutrality is best understood through a neoliberal rather than a neorealist international relations theory framework. This article posits an alternative "critical social constructivist" framework for understanding Irish neutrality. The first part of the article considers the differences between neoliberalism and social constructivism and argues why critical social constructivism's emphasis on beliefs, identity, and the agency of the public in foreign policy are key factors explaining Irish neutrality today. Using public opinion data, the second part of the article tests whether national identity, independence, ethnocentrism, attitudes to Northern Ireland, and efficacy are factors driving public support for Irish neutrality. The results show that public attitudes to Irish neutrality are structured along the dimensions of independence and identity, indicating empirical support for a critical social constructivist framework of understanding of Irish neutrality.

Item Type:Article (Published)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Critical social constructivism; Neutrality; Ireland; Public opinion;
Subjects:Social Sciences > International relations
Social Sciences > Political science
DCU Faculties and Centres:Research Initiatives and Centres > Centre for International Studies (CIS)
DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Science > School of Law and Government
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Copyright Information:Copyright © 2008 by International Political Science Association
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:609
Deposited On:29 Sep 2008 11:11 by DORAS Administrator. Last Modified 01 Sep 2010 04:02

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