New Directions in the Study of Asian American Politics, Part I: Affirmative Action
By Vivien Leung, University of California, Los Angeles and Daeun Song, University of California, Irvine
Almost 20 years have passed since the groundbreaking PS symposium on “Asian Pacific Americans and the New Minority Politics.” Spearheaded by Andrew Aoki and the late Don Nakanishi, the issue called for a new vision of minority politics and highlighted the ways that the Asian American case does not neatly fit into mainstream academic understandings of race, ethnicity, and politics (Aoki and Nakanishi 2001). Asian Americans are currently the fastest-growing immigrant group in the United States and they will play a significant part in reshaping American politics. This community’s rapid growth and integration into the fabric of the American polity complicate existing theories and frameworks in political science chiefly due to the high numbers of immigrants and the diversity of the community. Two decades later, many of the themes that Aoki and Nakanishi highlighted in their introductory article are still relevant, presenting challenges and opportunities for a new generation of scholars.