Constructivism is best understood as an approach or philosophical position with regard to international relations. If there is a unifying theme to all constructivisms, it is (a) the ontological primacy of intersubjective ideas as the basis of political action and (b) the changeability of such ideas (as social constructions, not material facts) and thus the changeability of our collective realities. Politics for constructivism cannot be reduced to biology or material power, or to individuals’ choices or perceptions. Individuals both create and replicate the social facts that define their identity and their appropriate political actions. This entry first reviews several constructivist perspectives and then discusses constructivism with regard to surveillance, security, and privacy. The entry ends with a brief discussion of constructivism’s role in social science.


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