Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-p2v8j Total loading time: 0.001 Render date: 2024-05-18T13:00:22.324Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Asian studies “inside-out”: a research agenda for the development of Global Asian Studies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 June 2021

Jin Sato*
The University of Tokyo Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, Tokyo, Japan
Shigeto Sonoda
The University of Tokyo Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, Tokyo, Japan
Author for correspondence: Jin Sato, E-mail:


New areas of research and education are emerging under the banner of Global Asian Studies (GAS). This paper examines the intellectual background of the rise of GAS and proposes a research agenda for the further development of GAS to facilitate the extraction of globally relevant findings with the potential to restore an intellectual foundation for connectedness in an increasingly divided world. The paper examines the ongoing repositioning of Asia studies in relation to the Asianization of Asian studies, new methodologies for a new era, the increasing importance of multi-lingual research, and theorizes the potential of area studies “inside-out” in relation to trends in and studies of globalization. Proposing four focal themes as a platform from which a new GAS may depart, this manifesto paper aims primarily to open up a discussion to eventually serve as a foundation for sustained research and education in the field of GAS.

Perspectives on Asia
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Asian Barometer (2019). Asian Barometer: 5 th wave data release, Available online at, Accessed on 30th of December, 2020.Google Scholar
Bates, Robert H. (1997). “Area Studies and the Discipline: A Useful Controversy?PS: Political Science and Politics 30:2, pp. 166–69.Google Scholar
Chen, Kuan-Hsing (2012). “Takeuchi Yoshimi's 1960 “Asia as Method” Lecture.” Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 13:2, pp. 317–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Conrad, Sebastian (2016). What is Global History? Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cowen, Robert (1997). “Late-modernity and the Rules of Chaos: An Initial Note on Transitologies and Rims.” In Learning from Comparing: New Directions in Comparative Education Research (Volume 2 – Policy, Professionals, and Development), ed. Alexander, Robin, Osborn, Marilyn and Phillips, David, pp. 7388. Oxford: Symposium Books.Google Scholar
EASS (2020). East Asian Social Survey: Data Access. Available online, = non_02&__M_ID = 38, Accessed on 30th of December, 2020Google Scholar
Fell, Dafydd (2018). “Forum: The State of the Field of Global Taiwan Studies Institutions: A Time for Optimism or Pessimism?International Journal of Taiwan Studies 1:2, pp. 371–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ho, Hou Ieong, Wang, Sean, Belouin, Pascal and Chen, Shih-Pei (2018). “Asia Network: An API-Based Cyberinfrastructure for the Flexible Topologies of Digital Humanities Research in Sinology,” OSF Preprints j2bhy, Center for Open Science. Scholar
Houben, Vincent (2017). “New Area Studies, Translation and Mid-range Concepts.” In Area Studies at the Crossroads, eds. Mielke, Katja and Hornidge, Anna-Kartharina, pp. 195–211. London: Palgrave-Macmillan.Google Scholar
Kharel, Dipesh (2016). “From Lahures to Global Cooks: Network Migration from the Western Hills of Nepal to Japan.” Social Science Japan Journal 19:2, pp. 173–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kohsaka, Ryo (2017). “The Myth of Washoku: A Twisted Discourse on the “Uniqueness” of National Food Heritages.” Journal of Ethnic Foods 4:2, pp. 6671.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kiernan, Ben (2003). “The Demography of Genocide in Southeast Asia: The Death Tolls in Cambodia, 1975–79, and East Timor, 1975–80.” Critical Asian Studies 35:4, pp. 585–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Knowledge Station (2020). Japanese Universities, Available online at, Accessed on 30th of December, 2020. (Japanese).Google Scholar
Kurasawa, Aiko (2020). Indonesia Daigyakusatsu (Indonesian Massacre). Chuo-koron. (In Japanese).Google Scholar
Morris-Suzuki, Tessa (2020). “Anti-Area Studies Revisited,” In On the Frontiers of History: Re-thinking East Asian Borders. Canberra: ANU Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ostwald, Kai and Schuler, Paul (2015). “Context and Comparison in Southeast Asia: The Practical Side of the Area Studies Discipline Debate: A Response to the Special Issue of Pacific Affairs.” 88(4), pp. 871–88.Google Scholar
Pattajit, Tansingmankong and Sato, Jin (forthcoming). “Experiencing Development: Resistance and Adaptation of Thailand over Half a Century.” draft mimeo.Google Scholar
Pletsch, Carl (1981). “The Three Worlds, or the Division of Social Scientific Labor, circa 1950–1975.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 23:4, pp. 565–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Research Committee for Area Studies, Science Council of Japan (2020), “Advancing Area Studies in an Opaque World: Finding Strength through Networking,” (in Japanese).Google Scholar
Sato, Jin (2020). “Research at a Distance,” International Journal of Asian Studies 17:2, pp. 105–08.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sonoda, Shigeto (2018). “Development of Data Archive and Its Impact on Asian Studies.” Aziya Kenkyu (Asian Studies) 64:2, pp. 3946, (Japanese).Google Scholar
Sonoda, Shigeto (2020). “Japanese Studies in Contemporary China: An Analysis of Its Development of Research Organizations and Their Members.” In Nankai Japanese Studies 2020, ed. Sung, Zhiyong, pp. 344–61. Tianjin: Tianjin Renmin Chubanshe (Chinese)Google Scholar
Steward, Julian H. (1950). Area Research: Theory and Practice. New York: Social Science Research Council.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tzeng, Albert, Richter, William L. and Koldunova, Ekaterina (2018). Framing Asian Studies: Geopolitics and Institutions. Singapore: ISEAS.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Widdowson, Henry G (1994). “The Ownership of English.” TESOL Quarterly 28:2, pp. 377–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar