Human rights debates can provoke strong reactions, particularly among people of different cultural backgrounds. The debate over Asian values and the use of human rights diplomacy are the most obvious manifestations of divisions between Asia and the West and reflect particular world views and historical legacies.
In this new book, scholars from the United States and several Asian countries debate fundamental issues such as 'Asian values', 'peaceful evolution' and cultural imperialism. Provocative and challenging essays analyse the debate between East and West, presenting critical perspectives on globalization and human rights diplomacy.
Debating Human Rights is an original contribution to a vital area of debate. It presents a uniquely wide diversity of perspectives on controversial issues and demonstrates how scholars and activists who view the world very differently can nonetheless move these debates forward in a search for common ground.
Peter Van Ness is associate professor at the Graduate School of International Studies, University of Denver, and research associate, Contemporary China Centre, Australian National University.