How to read social (economy politics) paper
A reminder for my self.
1. Understand that social sciences is not scientific enough
- Social sciences have overemphasized statistical data analysis, often limiting their logical models to prediction of the direction of effect, oblivious of its quantitative extent
- Social science is often ignorantly disparaged or marginalised because the impact of such work is often diffuse or long term.
- Social science is a poor cousin to the natural sciences suffering from a version of physics envy.
- Japan in 2015 closed humanities and social science departments.
2. A lot of social term/word/concept/jargon/buzz can not be defined clearly
Let say a duck can be defined as animal that has beak, lives in lake, eat worms, has a feather. It easy to identify which one is a duck and which one is platipus. Or which one is duck and which one is roboduck.
But in social science, a lot of term can not be defined clearly. For example, what is feeling, is feeling an advance thinking feature. What is happiness, is happines as subjective wellbeing, or happiness as monetary value?
Lets dig deeper into more scientific one, for example “failure state”. What is the definition of failure state. Researcher might use the term of failure state differently, for example (Wanandi 2002) or (Horta 2014). Might argue an opinion based on their interpretation of failure state.
3. Understand that Social dynamics is constant
I read Pre Colonial Economy of Indonesia (Reid, 1984) he explain things that happened in period of 14-18th century with very clear and insightful perspective. I always taught that Indonesia is a new suddenly appear country after 1945, but in fact it is a repeatable process since a very long time ago. The fate of Indonesia will be the same with the fate of Indonesia in the past.
4. Understand if it is not constant then Social Science is Politically Biased, or let say that it’s dynamics is not properly understood
The paper written in last decade is always politially biased. Let see the periode of Indonesia interpreted by various researcher in their period.
1990s reviewing 1980s as Miracle
Indonesia exceeding the success stories of Korea, Thailand and Singapore, Indonesia country’s industrial performance has been most impressive (Hill, 1990)
2000s reviewing 1980s as Disaster
- Protection and the Dynamics of Productivity Growth : The Case of Automotive Industries in Indonesia (Okamoto, 1999) he said that government intervention on automotive industry, aerospace industry is failure.
- How Not to Industrialise? Indonesia’s Automotive Industry (Aswicahyono, 2000)
Interventionist policy regime since the early 1970s would have to be judged a failure
- Dawn of Industrialisation? The Indonesian Automotive Industry (Natsuda 2015). Indonesia policies on localisation-requirement policies is not very effective. Indonesia’s future as car manufacturer is bright due to market potential and strategic geopolitics.