Picto Book chapter

Constructivism and peaceful change

Stephanie C. HOFMANN

This chapter examines how the constructivist paradigm can help us understand why and how peaceful change occurs. The paradigm rose to prominence with the end of the Cold War, which led to constructivist scholars initially exhibiting a bias toward analyzing peaceful relations and change. The metatheoretical foundations of constructivism, however, make it equally well equipped to analyze violent transformations. The chapter therefore argues that a gap in constructivist theorizing is the lack of exploring the conditions under which transformations are violent or peaceful. Furthermore, it demonstrates that the constructivist paradigm identifies factors, actors, and mechanisms of peaceful change, but scholars have paid less attention to defining the scope of one theory over the other.