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Evaluating Competing "Democratic" Discourses: The Impact on Human Rights Protection in Southeast Asia

[journal article]

Gomez, James; Ramcharan, Robin

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Abstract This paper evaluates the impact of competing “democratic” discourses on human rights protection in Southeast Asia. The authors identify three key discourses emanating from a set of national governmental policies, advocacy positions promoted by both global and local civil society and international standards and procedures adopted by members of inter-governmental organisations. These discourses, the authors argue, are collectively shaping the emerging ASEAN inter-governmental human rights regime. The political impact of these competing “democratic” discourses and their complex interactions bring a cultural dimension to regional human rights. The authors argue that observers seeking to understand the emergence of norms, the establishment of institutions and their capacity to collectively protect regional human rights, need to understand these competing discourses. (author's abstract)
Keywords Southeast Asia; ASEAN; human rights; international regime; cultural identity; ethnicity; social norm; path dependence; discourse; political negotiation; government policy; civil society; democratization; political opinion; opinion formation
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; International Relations, International Politics, Foreign Affairs, Development Policy
Document language English
Publication Year 2014
Page/Pages p. 49-77
Journal Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 33 (2014) 3
Issue topic Democracy and Human Rights in Southeast Asia
ISSN 1868-1034
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-NoDerivs