A constitutive approach for social inquiry
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International Relations (IR) theories contain much of theoretical confusion. The issues are not merely methodological, yet rather epistemo-ontological. Intentionality is the key to understand the social reality. It can be defined as constitutive processes of meaning-giving, as opposed to causality of constituted entities of given-meaning. Much researched, calculatedly or not, overlooks this simple fact that ontology in the social reality is not compatible with positivist epistemology. In elucidating state behavior, thus, it is of assistance to set up a framework for the constitutive approach in social scientific epistemology. The approach could be structured into three phrases: logics of situation; of selection; and of transformation. Through an exploratory examination, a new framework is applied to analyze state behavior in the case of Japanese ‘arms’ export control policy during 1952, 1967, and 1976.