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Vilfredo Pareto: Beyond Disciplinary Boundaries

Global Perspectives is also interested in conceptual and empirical approaches that go beyond established disciplinary boundaries. From their common origins in the moral political economies of the eighteenth century, the modern social sciences are now in their second century. They have become a global enterprise with millions of researchers and many more students. As a product of the Enlightenment and modernity, they have been significantly shaped by national interests, changing higher education policies, and numerous attempts at professional and political control. When the various disciplines emerged in earnest from the late nineteenth century onward, they were closer to each other than they are now, and the borderlines between what is today regarded as science, social science, and the humanities were more fluid. The often unsettled positions of psychology, history, anthropology, geography, and legal studies are cases in point.

Vilfredo Pareto: Beyond Disciplinary Boundaries

We do not argue that the disciplinary setup of the social sciences needs some fundamental rethinking or revision. Nor do we seek to take away from disciplinary discourses. Rather, we wish to provide spaces for works that do not fit easily into established disciplinary frameworks and that, precisely because of this, may harbor important new insights and innovative potential. Opening up and nurturing such opportunities is a core concern of Global Perspectives. It will be no easy task, as it runs up against the deeply entrenched, historically contingent constructs that are increasingly recognized limitations of the social sciences, among them the emergence of strong disciplinary boundaries, methodological nationalism, and unsolved normative issues.

Nonetheless, the meaning and extent of how the various social science disciplines are to cooperate remains unclear, even contested. Despite his critique above, Wallerstein (2008) later discouraged multi-disciplinary approaches and spoke in in favor of boundaries of the traditional disciplinary boundaries as they make distinct contribution to an overall social science enterprise. Wallerstein seems to miss that this pattern is well established already, and specialties like gender, ethnicity, developmental, peace, and, indeed, global studies have contributed significantly to our understanding of society. What is missing, though, is a strong feedback loop from the specialties to the main social science disciplines. As a result, they remain somewhat isolated from the social science mainstream.

Global Perspectives encourages submissions that take a global view of security, cooperation, international institutions, and international relations. That is, deliberate attempts to look at a common problem from multiple vantage points or from underrepresented vantage points are particularly encouraged. Multidisciplinary approaches are encouraged but not required, as are contributions that go beyond addressing debates in social science alone to thinking through and spelling out some of the policy and practical implications of their analysis. 041b061a72


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