Social Sciences: A Dying Fire

ISBN: 978-1-80117-042-0, eISBN: 978-1-80117-041-3

Publication date: 3 June 2021


Ghimire, K. (2021), "Prelims", Social Sciences: A Dying Fire, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. i-vii.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021 Kléber Ghimire

Half Title Page

Social Sciences

Title Page

Social Sciences: A Dying Fire


Kléber Ghimire

United Kingdom – North America – Japan – India – Malaysia – China

Copyright Page

Emerald Publishing Limited

Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley BD16 1WA, UK

First edition 2021

© 2021 Kléber Ghimire. Published under exclusive license by Emerald Publishing Limited.

Reprints and permissions service


No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without either the prior written permission of the publisher or a licence permitting restricted copying issued in the UK by The Copyright Licensing Agency and in the USA by The Copyright Clearance Center. Any opinions expressed in the chapters are those of the authors. Whilst Emerald makes every effort to ensure the quality and accuracy of its content, Emerald makes no representation implied or otherwise, as to the chapters’ suitability and application and disclaims any warranties, express or implied, to their use.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN: 978-1-80117-042-0 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-80117-041-3 (Online)

ISBN: 978-1-80117-043-7 (Epub)


Praise for Social Sciences: A Dying Fire vii
Chapter 1: Introducing the Key Elements of Crisis 1
The Pretension of Being a ‘Science’ and its Consequences 5
Fragmentation of Disciplines 12
The Ignoring of Wider Trajectories and Thought 21
The Idea of Human Uniqueness and Primacy 29
Chapter 2: Efforts to Reflect on Factors Intrinsic to Crisis 37
Social Sciences’ Institutional Building after the Second World War 38
Debates on Indigenisation of Social Sciences 43
More Recent Writings or Initiatives 50
Chapter 3: Structural as Well as More Contemporary Problems Facing the Social Sciences in Europe and North America 63
The Burden of Empiricism 64
The Problematic Role of Expertise 71
The University as an Economic Enterprise 79
Chapter 4: Asia as a Centre of New Impulsion in Social Sciences’ Renovations? 89
Modernisation Processes and the Social Sciences 92
Societal Investment in Education 100
The Question of Quality 107
What about the Japanese Experience? 114
Chapter 5: A New Context of Marginalisation of Social and Human Studies 123
Shifting Discourse on Knowledge 123
Ranking of Universities and its Effects 130
The Pretence of Internationalisation 139
Chapter 6: Concluding Discussion 147
A Crisis of Hydra? 147
Thinking About New Horizons 152
Bibliography 169
Index 175

Praise for Social Sciences: A Dying Fire

‘The social sciences are caught in an internecine web of internal debates, making the enterprise largely irrelevant to the vast majority of human life. This fact is brilliantly captured in A Dying Fire, in which Professor Kléber Ghimire insightfully describes the causes and consequences of the social sciences’ collective navel-gazing. Yet he does so not as a radical, eclectic project, but as an attempt to generate critical thinking essential to ensure continued relevance of these fields of study. De-centering Europe and North America is a vital step toward re-centering the value of the social sciences.’

Matthew F. Filner, Professor of Political Science and Faculty Association President, Metropolitan State University, Minnesota, USA.

‘This book digs deep in the history of social sciences and critically assesses their present uncertain positions. Its’ especially important contributions – and cannot be found easily elsewhere – are the reflections and analysis of the social sciences in Asian universities.’

Vesselin Popovski, Professor of Law and Vice Dean, O.P. Jindal Global University, Haryana, India.

‘This is a highly original interdisciplinary critique of social sciences. The book is most interesting and important for academics, students or anyone who want to rethink about the current nature of social sciences’ learning.’

Xiaoyuan Shang, Professor of Social Policy, Beijing Normal University, China.

‘This book persuasively explains why the social sciences should move beyond the narrow ideas of scientism, empiricism and professionalism toward a broader concept of learning and comprehensive thinking, and further conveys astoundingly deep knowledge about the commonalities and differences in the notion of learnedness and educational traditions of Western and Asian societies.’

Jin-Wook Shin, Professor of Sociology, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, South Korea.