Asian Studies/Global Studies: Transcending Area Studies and Social Sciences

John Lie, University of California, Berkeley
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The post–World War II growth of area studies, and Asian studies in particular, posed a serious challenge to the mainstream social sciences. Yet the epistemic and institutional foundations of area studies were never well articulated or justified, and the post–Cold War years brought a pervasive sense of crisis to its intellectual mission and justification. In particular, the author focuses on the tensions, if not contradictions, between social science disciplines and area studies. In advocating a more integrated human science, which depends more on mobile networks of scholars than on fixed fields of discipline-bound professors, the author suggests global studies as a fitting field of inquiry in the age of globalization.