Heike Holbig

The Plasticity of Regions: A Social Sciences–Cultural Studies Dialogue on Asia-Related Area Studies

GIGA Working Paper, No. 267, March 2015

Abstract
Representatives from the social sciences and cultural studies continue to exhibit mutual reservations and sensitivities when they encounter each other in the field of area studies. This is particularly so with regard to research on East and Southeast Asia. Given this background and with the intention of deriving a productive definition of area studies, this article attempts to assess the current state of Asia‐related area studies by reviewing and comparing the debates within the social sciences and cultural studies in the Anglo‐Saxon and German‐language spheres on the changing role of the discipline. In this text, region is defined as an ongoing process involving the communicative construction of social relations. Various approaches to describing the regions of East and Southeast Asia illustrate that this process is subject to dialectical movements of de‐ and reterritorialization, which should be examined as issues of equal empirical rank. In view of a growing focus primarily on transnational and transregional entanglements, this text suggests using the term "reflexive essentialism" and proposes more extensive reflection on the new and essentialist self‐assurances, limitations, and entrenchments at the regional, national, and subnational levels.

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GIGA AutorInnen

Prof. Dr. Heike Holbig

Senior Research Fellow
Redaktion GIGA Focus Asien

Prof. Dr. Heike Holbig ist Senior Research Fellow am GIGA Institut für Asien-Studien und Professorin für Politikwissenschaft mit dem Schwerpunkt Area Studies China/Ostasien an der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main. Als Mitglied des GIGA Forschungsschwerpunkts 1 „Politische Verantwortlichkeit und Partizipation“ befasst sie sich mit dem ideologischen und organisatorischen Wandel des chinesischen Parteiregimes. Im Rahmen des GIGA Forschungsschwerpunkts 4 „Macht und Ideen“ forscht sie zur Rolle Chinas in multilateralen Organisationen.

Aktuelle Publikationen der AutorInnen

Heike Holbig

Xi Jinping and the Art of Chrono-Ideological Engineering

in: Barbara Mittler / Natascha Gentz (eds.), China and the World - the World and China: Transcultural Perspectives on Modern China, Volume 3, Gossenberg: Ostasien Verlag, 2019, 183-200

Iwo Amelung / Moritz Bälz / Heike Holbig / Matthias Schumann / Cornelia Storz

Weak vs. Strong: Ambiguities of Protection

in: Iwo Amelung / Moritz Bälz / Heike Holbig / Matthias Schumann / Cornelia Storz (eds.), Protecting the Weak in East Asia: Framing, Mobilisation, and Institutionalisation, Abingdon/New York: Routledge, 2018, 257-271

Iwo Amelung / Moritz Bälz / Heike Holbig / Elisa Hörhager / Matthias Schumann / Cornelia Storz

Introduction

in: Iwo Amelung / Moritz Bälz / Heike Holbig / Matthias Schumann / Cornelia Storz (eds.), Protecting the Weak in East Asia: Framing, Mobilisation, and Institutionalisation, Abingdon / New York: Routledge, 2018, 1-19