Alexander Wendt and Anarchy

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It was not reason that besieged Troy; it was not reason that sent forth the Saracen from the desert to conquer the world; that inspired the crusades; that instituted the monastic orders; it was not reason that produced the Jesuits; above all, it was not reason that created the French Revolution.


The anarchic structure of the international system that he arrives at is logically done, even though he argues that there is no logic in anarchy. Throughout, he reiterates that an anarchic state should not be logical. According to him self-help and power are institutions and they are not essential features of anarchy. He argues: "there is no logic of anarchy apart from the practice that create and instantiate one structure of identities and interests rather than another." Thus, Wendt says 'anarchy is what states make of it'. Many critics have agreed with his point of view while some disagreed for right reasons. He mainly touches Neorealism, but returns to traditional realism, very often.
He also claims that a theory that is far removed from realism is not a working model and he gains significance here. "Realism lays claims to a relevance across systems, and because it relies on a conception of human nature, rather than a historically specific structure of world politics, it can make good on this claim," says Murray (1997, p. 202). Wendt does not ignore realism completely; but instead of working within its framework, he looks beyond it for establishing his theories.
There are critics who are not very comfortable with Wendt's dictum and call it a myth and Cynthia Weber is one of them. ...
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