Series 1, Number 5 (Summer 1996): Cultural Sources of Human Rights in East Asia

From March 24-27, 1996, the Carnegie Council together with Chulalongkorn University sponsored a workshop in Bangkok to explore how societies in East Asia are dealing with human rights issues as they undergo rapid social and economic change. This volume, devoted to a report of that workshop, examines how cultural traditions vary in terms of moral values and political practices, and how this variation bears on the international discourse on human rights. The purpose of examining "cultural sources" was not about seeing whether Eastern cultural traditions fit with the concept of human rights as understood in the West. Rather, the image that shaped the workshop was that of an "unforced consensus," suggesting efforts to create and expand an area of consensus on norms while allowing room for disagreement.

The following report was prepared by Maria Serena Diokno, program convenor for Peace, Human Rights and Conflict Resolution at the Center for Integrative and Development Studies of the University of the Phillipines and a core group member of the project.