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Beyond the culturalist problematic: Towards a global social science in the Asian Century?

Jayasuriya, K. (2015) Beyond the culturalist problematic: Towards a global social science in the Asian Century? In: Johnson, C., Mackie, V. and Morris-Suzuki, T., (eds.) The Social Sciences in the Asian Century. Australian National University, Acton, ACT, pp. 81-96.


This volume engages with debates about research and study on Asia and engaging with the knowledge produced in the Asian region in the next few decades.1 My argument is simple: the advent of the so-called Asian Century is not simply about making us knowledgable about Asia or developing institutional capacities for such knowledge. Rather, it also challenges some of the fundamental assumptions of the social sciences. This has become problematic for some of the key assumptions driving Asian studies. It has also become problematic, in the Australian context, for some of the public policy assumptions about ‘Asia literacy’, or ‘Asia capability’ as it is called in its latest incarnation (Asialink 2013; Department of Education 2014; see also Heryanto in this volume). In turn, this has a number of implications for the way we do research on Asia as well as broader public policy implications for research investment—particularly in which research programs to invest, as well as the kinds of skills and expertise we need to ‘study Asia’.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Asia Research Centre
Publisher: Australian National University
Copyright: © 2015 ANU Press
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