One case that constructivists have pointed to to help support their theory was the events that led to the fall of the Soviet Union. To the former theories, they had difficulty explaining the shift in relations between the United States and the Soviet Union. However, to constructivists, the role of the individual (in this case President Mikhail Gorbachev) was critical; his willingness to focus on norms such as “common security” (Walt, 1998: 41). Gorbachev’s shifting of the Soviet Union’s policy from one of security concerns to working with other states towards this “new” norm is explained by constructivism.
Since its inception, Foreign Affairs has included a long book review section, typically reviewing 50 or more books per issue. The magazine's first editor, Archibald Cary Coolidge, asked his Harvard colleague, William L. Langer , a historian and World War I veteran, to run the section. Langer initially had full control over the magazine's book reviews and did all the reviews by himself. A month before the reviews were due, the Foreign Affairs office in New York would ship approximately one hundred books to Langer for review and within two weeks he would return his completed reviews for the next issue.
Second , equipped with a needs-based map of the field, conflict analysts and resolvers can understand the contradictions inherent in general notions like "negotiation" and "dispute resolution," and the necessity to design resolution processes corresponding to a conflict's underlying generic sources. Where the conflict is generated by unsolved problems of political identity, for example, the process required will be analytical, exposing the differences between the conflicting parties' perceived interests and their underlying needs, and offering them a wide range of possible solutions to the reframed identity problem. There is thus a historical, if not logical, connection between human needs theory and the process known as the analytical or interactive problem-solving workshop (see Fisher, 1997; Mitchell and Banks, 1996).