Discipline and Power

The Subject of China in Political Science

Author: Chun Lin


Mainstream political science treats China as an anomaly that has not followed the "right" path of development, i.e. a path that confirms the worldview, normative values, knowledge, and expectations of a Euromodern origin. This essay identifies inherent biases in the discipline and shows how the dominant disciplinary approach to Chinese politics has largely remained focused on validating questionable political-scientific tenets. A tentative proposal is offered for intellectual steps toward more openness and efficacy in disciplinary knowledge production and consumption. The argument is not about overcoming Eurocentrism by promoting Chinese exceptionalism. On the contrary, it is political, and challenges the power of current organizing principles of knowledge in search of a more accurate and cogent understanding of Chinese and global politics.

Regions: East Asia
Countries: China

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December 2017
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