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.
..."the book is a valuable source of enlightenment on an invaluable subject of human concern."
-"Journal of contemporary Asia
"In post-Cold War international Relations, there has been no more controversial issue in American foreign policy than how to advance the cause of human rights. Van Ness's "Debating Human Rights is a wide-ranging and provocative exploration of U.S. and international perspectives on human rights diplomacy and practice. By highlighting American and Asian differences on the 'Asian values' debate, Van Ness and his colleagues sharpen our understanding of the inevitable tension between power politics and human rights concerns. This volume is of considerable contemporary relevance in the context of the Asian financial crisis."
-Richard Solomon, President, United States Institute of Peace
"A major achievement of this book is to counter the often stated and over inflated distinction between 'Western' and 'Asian' sides in ongoing debates regarding culture and politics. The chapters are lucid, edifying, and provocative... [the book] is a marvelous contribution to the world-wide discussion on contemporary political values."
-Ben Kerkvliet, Australian National University