The Political Economy and Culture of Human Rights in East Asia
Jindal Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 1, No. 1, p. 48, October 2011
26 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2011 Last revised: 29 Nov 2011
Date Written: October 22, 2011
The Asian values debate has been one of the preeminent human rights debates in the world for the past two decades. The claim of some East Asian regimes for continued authoritarian government and denial of certain human rights on the grounds that this is in harmony with Asian values, helps preserve community and leads to higher growth is disputed in this article. This is done on the basis that liberal constitutionalism – which is defined here as democracy, the rule of law and human rights – when indigenised through debate and adaption to local conditions is not only in keeping with traditions but, as the experience of many countries in East Asia itself reveals, is better at managing the diverse interests that emerge in rapidly changing societies and is thereby a generator of political and economic stability. Thus, the East Asian discourse offers insights for human rights debates in many other developing countries globally.
Keywords: Human Rights, political economy, Asian values
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