Jackson’s sets out to explain the causes of the policies adopted towards postwar Germany while preserving a central role for human agency. According to Jackson, many of the other theoretical approaches ignore human agency or do not give it enough credence. (ie. Structural-Realists)

As reality is a social construct then it does not lie outside the purview of human agents. Without human beings and their social activities there would be no West Germany to reconstruct. (Eddy’s note: no st!)
Society refers to independent people in plural, not something external to people. The challenge of explaining policies towards Germany are best met with Transactional Social Constructionist (TSC) conception of social reality.
TSC takes a “post-structuralist” view.
Jackson’s Definition of Post-Structuralist vs. Post-structural analysis: See page 15 (especially FN 6)

Jackson bases his view of Legitimation on Max Weber’s theories of legitimatimacy of the state.
Legitimation is a social construct created by the language we use to describe actions not the actions. For example: The difference between a home-invasion by bandits and a police raid on your house. The actions are the same, but these two are viewed very differently due to social context. (Eddy’s note: Although Jackson denies the role that INTENTION plays here, I disagree…the reason society sees these as different actions is precisely due to the (at least supposed) intentions of the bandits vs. those of the cops)
Weberian legitimation is also about the production and reproduction of boundaries of legitimation. For example the domestic boundaries of a state. However, a state’s boundaries can extend beyond its it’s actual boundaries (ie. The US, or the USSR). States can extend their boundaries by invading other countries.
This view of Legitimation differs from Habermas who see legitimation as a “temporary measure designed to make up for the failings of the capitalist economic system.


Jackson believes that we can not know anyone’s “real motives.” Thus he does not believe that we need to look for private sources to find public figures “real motives” anyway as what matters is the actions (Eddy’s Note: I think this is what he’s saying)
Rhetorical Commonplaces

The use of public rhetoric creates reality for the public. Like a stick helping a blind person to see. We “see” through the language use.
Language gives meaning: Using the term “Student” gives meaning to our actions (like why am I reading this!)
Agency and Causality**

Agency is about abilities, not our intentions. While other theories may keep agents in their examination of causality, they remove agency. (Think of Rational Choice Theory: Agents are the one’s making all the decisions, but since they are bound by rationality, they have not agency!!)
Causality is the coming-together of processes and patterns of social action.