Comparative area studies

Authored by: Andreas Mehler

The Routledge Handbook of Transregional Studies

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138718364
eBook ISBN: 9780429438233
Adobe ISBN:


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Comparative area studies (CAS) endeavours to create a bridge between classic area studies and what is called systematic disciplines – perhaps foremost one between area studies and comparative politics. 1 The constitutive elements of CAS are (a) context sensitivity/expertise that entails giving attention to history, culture, and regional factors, and (b) an explicitly systematic and empirical comparative approach (e.g. Lijphart 1971; Sartori 1994). CAS requires cognisance of the issues associated with using the concept ‘area’. This includes an awareness of the potential variable geometry of region depending on the exact research question as well as a constructive acknowledgement of well-founded criticisms of certain traditional notions of spatiality (Mehler and Hoffmann 2011; Holbig 2015).

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