Offering an investigation of the ways in which matters of human rights give shape to the European Union's interaction with Asia, this volume argues for the consideration of selected social-constructivist perspectives with regard to the Asia-EU dialogue. It puts into context the function of ideas, identities, values, norms and human rights. Through a number of country-specific and regional case studies, the text examines both the 'enabling' and the 'inhibitory' potential of human rights in the Union's relations with Asian interlocutors. The book proposes a more inclusive, holistic understanding of the significance and potential of the human rights discourse in East-West contacts. It is aimed at a wide readership from the disciplines of politics, international relations, Asian studies, law and human rights.
'By providing a highly insightful account of East-West relations through a detailed analysis of EU-East Asian interaction, dialogue and co-operation around human rights and related concerns, this book makes a valuable contribution to an array of important debates on local, regional and global developments of interest to a broad range of scholars, practitioners and policy-makers.' Paul Close, University of Warwick, UK 'Wiessala's discourse analysis shows in a lucid way how the EU is seeking to construct its engagement with Asia on key issues such as "individuality" and "human rights". Quite often it gets rebuffed with references to notions of "responsibility" or "commitment to society". Wiessala offers the EU a framework to respond with greater coherence to the vastly different intellectual traditions, political regimes and popular perceptions existing across Asia.' Willem van der Geest, European Institute for Asian Studies, Belgium '…[Georg Wiessala] provides an in-depth analysis of the position of human rights in the political dialogue between the EU and Asia and of the EU's role as a promoter of human rights and democracy in Asia. It is a valuable instrument for understanding the most innovative trends in EU-Asia relations and the deeper potential of human rights issues in the development of this dialogue.' The International Spectator 'This book focuses on EU foreign policy towards Asia, highlighting "the role and development of human rights within the EU's dialogue with Asian partners", which has a low profile in the studies of EU-Asia relations.' International Relations of the Asia Pacific