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The Art of Creating PowerFreedman on Strategy$
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Benedict Wilkinson and James Gow

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190851163

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190851163.001.0001

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The Essence of Strategy

The Essence of Strategy

Constructivist Realism and Necessity

Chapter:
(p.259) 14 The Essence of Strategy
Source:
The Art of Creating Power
Author(s):

James Gow

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190851163.003.0015

The theoretical element that runs through Freedman’s scholarship and the world of strategy is constructivist realism, the implicit theoretical mechanism that underpins Freedman’s scholarship and practice. A form of analysis that combines realism and constructivism presents a ‘distinctive and beneficial’ approach to the study of issues of war and peace – one that runs throughout Freedman’s work and is consciously present in Strategy, where social theory is favored and rational actors are demolished. The chapter discusses each concept, including the constructed character of realism, and attempts to bring them together, arguing that necessity is the quality that sits at the heart of a constructivist realist approach, where the socially generated character of issues and sober acknowledgement that power (and other empirical realities) combine to offer an approach with which flux and stasis in international society and international security can be profitably studied in policy-friendly ways.

Keywords:   Constructivism, Realism, Necessity, Freedman, International society

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