Cultural Politics and Asian Values looks at the political, cultural and religious background of East and Southeast Asian societies and those of 'the West', with a view to seeing how they are affecting contemporary national and international politics: democratization, the international human rights discourse, NGOs and globalization.
The book surveys the political history and pre-history of the 'Asian values' debate, taking it up to the era of Megawati Sukarnoputri, Chen Shui-bian and Kim Dae-jung. In chapters on Confucianism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and liberalism, Barr explores the histories and conceptual essences of the world religions involved in or affected by the debate.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Cultural Politics 1. Death of a Debate? 2. A Broad History: From Meiji to 'East Asian Miracle' 3. Narrow Histories: Lee Kuan Yew and Dr Mahathir 4. Confronting China After the End of History 5. Fin de Siècle: 'Democratic Moment', Financial Crisis and Beyond Part 2: Values and Religions 6. Of Liberalism and Other Religions 7. The European Legacy: Christianity and Liberalism 8. Islam: of Shari'a and Adat; Calophs and Rajas 9. Buddhism: The Politics of Compassion 10. Confucianism: Humane Rites and Elite Rights Part III: Cultural Politics and Asian Values 11. 'Asian Values' Revisited 12. Human Rights Revisited
Michael Barr is the author of Lee Kuan Yew: The Beliefs Behind the Man, which was based on his dissertation. He wrote Cultural Politics and Asian Values as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Centre for Community and Cross-Cultural Studies, Queensland University of Technology. In mid-2002 he took up an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship in the History Department at the University of Queensland.