Area Studies and the Discipline: A Useful Controversy?

Robert H. Bates
1997 PS: Political Science and Politics  
When arguments become polarized, it often signals that divisions are falsely drawn. Such appears to be the case with this controversy. Why must one choose between area studies and the discipline? There are strong reasons for endorsing both. In this essay, I sketch the current debate and explore the ways in local knowledge can and is being incorporated into general analytic frameworks. I conclude by stressing the work that lies ahead. In doing so, it should be stressed, I deal only with
more » ... science. The dynamics in other disciplines, I have found, differ greatly from those within our own (Bates et al. 1993) . Caricaturing the Present Divide About the Author Robert Bates is Eaton Professor of the Science of Government at Harvard University. Among his recent books is Africa and the Disciplines (Chicago, 1993), with Jean O'Barr and V. Y. Mudimbe.
doi:10.2307/420485 fatcat:px44me4y2ndy5jagb2rctnj6em