Ethics & International Affairs Volume 11 (1997): Articles: Conversing with Straw Men While Ignoring Dictators: A Reply to Roger Ames [Abstract]

Dec 4, 1997

In a rebuttal of Ames's critique of his conception of universal human rights, Donnelly asserts that Ames has misrepresented his arguments, creating a straw man from Ames's own preconceived notion of the Western liberal tradition while ignoring the substantive debates. In response to Ames's cultural approach to human rights, Donnelly argues that culture cannot be viewed as static. Structural, political, and economic factors have significant effects upon culture and the rights of each citizen. Donnelly concludes that the more significant cause of China's failure to recognize the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not Confucian culture but rather China's own corrupt and dictatorial regime; thus the international community must continue to condemn China's violations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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