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Series 1, Number 4 (Spring 1996): Three Years After the Bangkok Declaration


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To mark the third anniversary of the Bangkok Declaration, this volume is devoted to assessing the progress of the Asia-West dialogue on human rights engendered by the Declaration. The volume addresses such questions as what are "Asian values" and how have they played into the debate? Has the West responded appropriately? Should "Asian values" be dismissed as a cloak for authoritarian leaders to hang on to a monopoly of power? Or is there something more to the concept that the West has missed? To answer these questions the Council commissioned articles from Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, Kevin Y. L. Tan, senior lecturer at the National University of Singapore, and Joseph Chan, professor of politics and public administration at the University of Hong Kong.

The Bangkok Declaration Three years After: Reflections on the State of the Asia-West Dialogue on Human Rights | 03/04/96
As the Asia-West dialogue on human rights engendered by the Bangkok Declaration approaches its three-year mark, this issue of Dialogue is devoted to an assessment of its progress. Author(s): Joanne Bauer

Thinking About Human Rights and Asian Values | 03/04/96
To see the conflict over human rights as a battle between Western liberalism and Asian reluctance distracts attention from the central issues: In the battle over the role of human rights and freedoms, the primary parties are Asians of different interests and convictions. Author(s): Amartya Sen

What Asians Think About the West's Response to the Human Rights Debate | 03/04/96
New-found national pride pits Asian countries against a "decadent West." Constant pressure to observe human rights obligations, often applied with threats of economic sanctions, is regarded by many as a slap in the Asian face, an attempt by the West to hold the East ransom. Author(s): Kevin Y. L. Tan

The Task for Asians: To Discover their Own Political Morality for Human Rights | 03/04/96
The search for a coherent political morality within the Pacific Rim countries is not a contest between Asians and Westerners, but a soul-searching exercise for Asians themselves: to develop social, political, and philosophical norms that best capture their values. Author(s): Joseph Chan

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