Call for papers – Chinese social sciences

Special Feature of China Perspectives on the “Chinese social sciences” versus “Western social sciences” debate: an epistemological account.

Guest-edited by Chloé Froissart, Researcher in political sciences, French Centre for Research on Contemporary China (Hong Kong), Director of the Tsinghua University Sino-French Center in Social Sciences, Assistant Professor, University of Rennes.

Can we speak of a “Chinese model” – or conversely a “Western model” – of the humanities and social sciences? If so, what are its underlying principles, as well as its methodological and theoretical characteristics? What discourse(s) does this model develop and for what purpose is it elaborated?

[…] The purpose of this special issue is to raise anew the question of analytical frameworks in the humanities and social sciences in the Chinese context, while questioning the validity of epistemological relativism and the relationship between knowledge and power. Is there a specifically Chinese, or conversely, specifically Western way of constructing a research object in the humanities and social sciences and studying it? Can we identify differences in the values that underlie the scientific approach and discourse on both sides and to what extent can these values be identified as strictly Chinese or Western? How and under what conditions can concepts developed in different contexts travel across borders while maintaining their relevance and heuristic value? Is the affirmation of a national specificity of scientific disciplines compatible with the aim of the humanities and social sciences and how far can a scientific discourse present cultural or national characteristics? What exactly do we mean by “Chinese” and “Western” and what is the role of the political and ideological determinants in the production of knowledge? What are the ethical and scientific implications of this desire to indigenize disciplines? Ultimately, the central objective of this issue will be to determine the boundaries between the scientific and the ideological.

This special issue is open to all disciplines: philosophy, literature, history, sociology, anthropology, political science, international relations, geography, economics as long as the studies are firmly anchored in a contemporary Chinese context (empirical and textual cases-studies will be valued) and show a clear concern for critical and nuanced dialogue, both with relativist and universalist theses. In order to answer the initial question, contributions may address, but are not limited to:

  • Circulation, transferability, historicity
  • The boundaries/ frontiers of scientific knowledge
  • The conditions of knowledge production and its determinants

Deadline for proposals

  • 1 June 2017



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Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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