‘By Dred Things I am Compelled’: China and the Challenge to International Human Rights Law and Policy

18 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2020 Last revised: 3 Mar 2020

See all articles by Larry Catá Backer

Larry Catá Backer

The Pennsylvania State University (University Park) – Penn State Law

Date Written: January 15, 2020

Abstract

The rise of China as a global power has expanded beyond the realm of economic to international human rights law and policy. This contribution examines both the nature and role of Chinese conceptions of international human rights on the evolution of both. It first examines the conceptual premises on the basis of which Chinese approaches to international human rights law and norms are developed. It then considers the effects of such development in those situations where enterprises might be caught between conventional conceptions and those now emerging from China. It ends with a close examination of the character of this “New Era” approach to international human rights through the lens of the successful Chinese effort to gain the adoption, by the UN Human Rights Council, of a resolution A/HRC/37/L.36, which embedded the Chinese conception of mutually advantageous cooperation into the heart of the UN’s human rights discourse. Most enterprises are now caught between the construction of human rights conceptual world orders in which compliance with one standard risks liability for complicity with the other in the realms of societal, legal and normative orders. Such has been the context in which the evolution of contemporary Chinese engagement with international law and norms has emerged.

Keywords: China, human rights, international law, United Nations, Human Rights Council

JEL Classification: M14, K33, P16, I31

Suggested Citation

Backer, Larry Catá, ‘By Dred Things I am Compelled’: China and the Challenge to International Human Rights Law and Policy (January 15, 2020). Penn State Law Research Paper No. 06-2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3519645 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3519645

Larry Catá Backer (Contact Author)

The Pennsylvania State University (University Park) – Penn State Law ( email )

Lewis Katz Building
University Park, PA 16802
United States

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