Spirit out of bounds returns to the East: The closing of the social sciences and the opening of independent thoughts
The cycle of the 'social sciences' as they were historically formed at the beginning of the nineteenth century is coming to its close. The Gulbenkian Report (1995) was an effort to maintain Western epistemic hegemony by 'opening the social sciences,' acknowledging the challenges from the Third World (geopolitics of knowledge) and from the outcome of the Civil Rights Movement in the US (disciplinary formations around ethnic, racial, gender, and sexual issues). The 'opening' was indeed the beginning of its 'closing.' Relevant social and cultural knowledges do not require the normative control and regulation of Eurocentric social sciences, even in their generous opening. New knowledge formation is emerging from the experiences, needs, and memories of the non-European world in contentious dialogue with 200 years of Western epistemic hegemony. Hegel's Spirit is indeed returning, disillusioned and at the same time empowered to begin a different parkour, to the global East and the global South. © The Author(s) 2014.
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