Understanding realism and liberalism is quite simple (to me at least) but, what is constructivism? It is definitely not a little bit of both realism and liberalism as I falsely assumed. I have tried looking it up on various other sites, but all had some confusing if not conflicting ideas. A real life example would definitely help.
It is an international relations theory that believes that States exist within a world of our own making, and that they are social rather than material. Social interactions shape the interests and identities of the states, not just their behaviors.
Established as recently as the late 1980s and early 1990s by such thinkers as Nicholas Onuf, Alexander Wendt, Emanuel Adler, Friedrich Kratochwil, John Gerard Ruggie and Peter Katzenstein, constructivism is a “social theory of international politics” that emphasizes the social construction of world affairs as opposed to the claim of (neo)realists that international politics is shaped by the rational-choice behaviour/decisions of egoist actors who pursue their interests by making utilitarian calculations to maximize their benefits and minimize their losses, hence the materiality of international structures.
Constructivism is a structural theory of the international system that makes the following core claims:
(1) states are the principal units of analysis for international political theory;
(2) the key structures in the states system are intersubjective rather than material; and
(3) state identities and interests are in important part constructed by these social structures, rather than given exogenously to the system by human nature [as (neo)realists maintain] or domestic politics [as neoliberals favour].
Constructivism is a world that is socially constructed that is focuses more on social aspect than material.example when we take gun for example,the material gun is not the issue but the social behaviour behind the gun is what matters as in whether they are going to attack you or not.
constructivism in simple terms is derived by "construction", a theory which focuses on ideas, norms, values and traditions behind everything rather than materialism( which is the main focus of realism). for example if there is a chair, materialism would be the "chair" or rather its cost in terms of expensiveness while constructivism would be the thought behind its construction like is this i sign of danger, positiveness? is this used for relaxment a something else? constructivism says that world is what you see of it, if you think that democracy is good and anarchy is destruction than it is the viewpoint you have by the interpretation of you and your ancestors.
Everything in the world of politics has been socially constructed (built) especially interests and identities of the nation-states. Nothing is given, natural, predetermined or preplanned.
Constructivism is the theory that social interactions and past experiences are the guiding principles for states behaviors.