Agent-structure relations: methodology of constructivism

Agent-structure relations:
methodology of constructivism

Alekseyeva T.A.,

MGIMO University, Moscow, Russia,

elibrary_id: 1361 |

Article received: 2022.04.16 18:49. Accepted: 2022.05.17 18:50
DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2022.04.07

For citation:

Alekseyeva T.A. Agent-structure relations: methodology of constructivism. – Polis. Political Studies. 2022. No. 4. P. 77-93. (In Russ.).


The notion of agent-structure relations is a central concept within the constructivist paradigm. A huge portion of the scientific literature abroad and in Russia is devoted to constructivism as a methodological approach. However, the methods themselves frequently are not disclosed, the authors just limit themselves to stating that they meet the requirements of the general scientific methods of the social sciences. At the same time, the choice of methods, even aspects of them, is quite significant for constructivism. The structures are studied mostly through meta-history and genealogy. The worldviews of the observer, which distort the scientific analysis and its results rather significantly, should also be taken into account. The Agent’s activity is regarded through the study of narratives, discourses and framing. This allows researchers the possibility to decrypt, but also analyse and study key constructivist themes, including the problems of identity which are a priority for the scholars of this school. Constructivist pluralism does not simply allow, but also implies that it can fruitfully interact with the other theories of international relations. This has resulted in the emergence of many mixed eclectic forms like cultural constructivism, cultural realism, liberal constructivism, constructivism as a critical theory, cultural constructivism etc. However, it seems quite important for academics to present some general scheme for constructivist study, that will allow a significant deviation from the original tenets and allow scholars to further explore their interests and fulfil their tasks. 

agent-structure relations, system theory, ontology, epistemology, structure, macro-history, genealogy, observer’s factor, agents’ activity, narratives, discourses, framing, identity.


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Content No. 4, 2022

See also:

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Political theory. – Polis. Political Studies. 2012. No3

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Political identity and the concept of the political. – Polis. Political Studies. 2012. No6

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What Is Happening to the Theory of International Relations. – Polis. Political Studies. 2016. No1

Tkhagapsoyev Kh.G.,
In search of a new methodological paradigm in political science: the identity approach. – Polis. Political Studies. 2013. No4

Makarychev A.S.,
Genealogy of Personality and Historical Dynamics of Socium. – Polis. Political Studies. 2003. No5



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