Regions of Exception
62 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2014 Last revised: 24 Feb 2017
Date Written: February 10, 2017
Regions of exception play a critical role in contemporary world politics: they are sites of civil conflict, economic backwardness, secessionist movements, opposition party support, and challenges to contemporary national projects. I argue in this mansuscript that the mainstream methodological language for understanding subnational variation renders such important cases illegible precisely because of these regions’ distinct histories and social structures. Using case materials drawn from contemporary Southeast Asia, I illustrate how to conceptualize regions of exception as representing particular tensions between the insights from comparative politics and area studies, with challenges for a purist view of causal inference in political science. Recognizing regions of exception will help political scientists to better grasp key issues in contemporary world politics.
Keywords: causal inference, comparative method, peripheries, subnational politics, Southeast Asia
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