Yogyakarta, 25 September 2018- “Nicolas Onuf is the founder of constructivism in International Relations. According to him, International Relations is a form of social constructivism in which there are dynamics in interactions between an individual and the society,” stated by Kevin to open the Suryakanta Reading Club discussion on Tuesday (25/9) in the IIS Discussion Room or the BA 503 room in Fisipol UGM. Suryakanta Reading Club is a routine monthly agenda of the Institute of International Studies (IIS) that has been conducted since last year. On this occasion, IIS opened the first discussion of the semester by discussing Nicholas Onuf’s “The World of Our Making” book and was moderated by Kevin Abimanyu Jatmiko, a fresh graduate from the Department of International Relations Fisipol UGM.
Kevin found that the term ‘logocentric’ in the first chapter that emphasizes on identical consciousness, in which a group of individuals has the same consciousness regarding a certain phenomenon and approves upon that particular idea. Furthermore, the principle of interpretation, in which from the same consciousnesses will emerge the same interpretations. “These rules, that were founded by Wittgenstein, is known as governing games. In constructivism, humans are the main agent in the formation of social phenomena that later on will develop into international phenomena,” as Kevin stated.
The critics on Onuf’s work are mostly due to the sheer use of opinions of other experts such as Wittgenstein and Giddens that are often confusing. However, the advantage of Onuf’s work is the uniqueness of constructivism that emphasizes on the ideas of language and culture as if they were talking, seeing and sensing, as emphasized by Onuf. This idea separates Onuf from the other founders of constructivism.