Speaking to Theory and Speaking to the China Field

Issues & Studies, Vol. 54, No. 4, December 2018, pp. 1-11

17 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2018 Last revised: 10 Feb 2019

See all articles by Kevin J. O'Brien

Kevin J. O'Brien

University of California, Berkeley - Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science

Date Written: August 13, 2018

Abstract

Bringing knowledge about China to the disciplines has reduced the outsized role that research on Europe and America has on many topics. But mainstreaming China studies also leads to certain tradeoffs. How should we manage these tradeoffs and produce research that is both true to China and contributes to the social sciences? In the last 40 years, China scholars have developed many strategies to navigate the territory between area studies and the social sciences. I myself have vacillated about how China studies and political science should interact and inform each other. How are scholars addressing this issue now, in an era of mixed methods, sophisticated quantitative research, experiments and “big data?”.

Keywords: Area Studies, China Studies, Social Sciences, State of the Field

Suggested Citation

O'Brien, Kevin J., Speaking to Theory and Speaking to the China Field (August 13, 2018). Issues & Studies, Vol. 54, No. 4, December 2018, pp. 1-11, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3230281 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3230281

Kevin J. O'Brien (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science ( email )

210 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

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