The European social sciences tend to absorb criticism that has been passed on the European approach and re-label it as a part of what the critique opposes; criticism of European social sciences by “subaltern” social sciences, their “talking back”, has become a frequent line of reflection in European social sciences. The re-labelling of the critique of the European approach to social sciences towards a critique from “Southern” social sciences of “Western” social sciences has somehow turned “Southern” as well as “Western” social sciences into competing contributors to the same “globalizing” social sciences. Both are no longer arguing about the European approach to social sciences but about which social thought from which part of the globe prevails.
If the critique becomes a part of what it opposes, one might conclude that the European social sciences are very adaptable and capable of learning. One might, however, also raise the question whether there is anything wrong with the criticism of the European social sciences; or, for that matter, whether there is anything wrong with the European social sciences themselves. The contributions in this book discuss these questions from different angles: They revisit the mainstream critique of the European social sciences, and they suggest new arguments criticizing social science theories that may be found as often in the “Western” as in the “Southern” discourse.