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Such structures, however, are mutually constructed by the identities of the actors they serve to create, as Reus-Smit notes, since the maintaining and transforming of ideational structures is dependent on practices of individuals within them (2009).Critical constructivism further acknowledges alienation as “driving the need for identity” and thus emphasizes the need of an “other” to construct one’s own identity (Hopf, 1998, p. Lastly, in contrast with assumptions made by mainstream approaches, actor’s interests are not predetermined but instead informed by identities.Secondly, the party constructs an image of refugees that renders them not only undeserving of help and protection, but that further brands them a threat to said German identity.
This corresponds to Leach’s account of the refugee crisis in Australia in 2001-2002, who uncovers that multiple aspects constituted an overall picture of the asylum seekers as undeserving (2003).
Other contributions were able to further establish how identity and norms shape state interests and thus contribute to generating explanations for issues relevant to realism, such as military interventions and great power transformation (Barnett, 2013).
Constructivists question the individualist notions underlying mainstream ontologies of the state, and instead focus on a social ontology, emphasizing that states cannot be detached from a context of meaning that shapes their identity and interests (Fierke, 2016, p. Whereas mainstream theories assume states to follow lasting interests such as power and wealth, constructivists emphasize that essential aspects of IR are constructed in line with their historical and social context.
In spreading a false narrative of asylum seekers throwing children overboard when trying to enter Australia, politicians constructed an image of the refugees that seemed to threaten Australian values.
This fed into a larger frame of constructing the refugees’ identity not only in a way that deemed them unworthy of help, but that further clearly contrasted them with the traditional Australian identity.