Constructivism & Epistemic Community: Theoretical Tools for Understanding the Crafting of Foreign Policy toward Non-State Actors


  • Kamran Bukhari Howard University



The purpose of this paper is to forge a theoretical framework, which can enable the study of how states construct foreign policy towards non-state actors, which are both ideological as well as transnational in character. It tries to examine the role of an ‘epistemic community’ (Haas, Peter, 1989, 138) composed of academic scholars, journalists affiliated with both the print as well as the electronic media corporations, and policy analysts associated with think tanks, research centers and policy institutes, in the shaping of this policy. While this paper is not a case study, it formulates the theory by applying it to a contemporary scenario. In this regard, it makes reference to how the United States has shaped its possible policy toward the phenomenon of Islamism, which manifests itself in the shape of multiple ideological and transnational non-state actors. These are the sundry moderate, radical, and militant Islamist groups seeking to create Islamic states all across the Muslim world and beyond.