The education of political and social scientific desire for area studies to be more like the disciplines or call it a day gives rise to doubts that in either event area studies have anything left to offer genuinely comparative inquiry. Their exotic charms, broadened horizons, and humorous vignettes notwithstanding, what can area studies really do for todayâ€™s determined comparativist? Are they irredeemably undisciplined or might they have discernible logics of comparison after all? What could justify the rubric of area studies as comparative method â€“ and with what implications for rethinking how and why we compare? This chapter tackles these questions in three parts. In the first, it takes Asian studies as a sufficiently representative and capacious subcategory of area studies and critically reviews debates about the comparative qualities of political and social studies there.