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Negotiating Culture and Human Rights


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Contributors Part 1. Human Rights and the Asian Values Debate Introduction. Culture and Human Rights, by Lynda S. Bell, Andrew J. Nathan, and Ilan Peleg 1. Who Produces Asian Identity? Discourse, Discrimination, and Chinese Peasant Women in the Quest for Human Rights, by Lynda S. Bell Part 2. Culturally Informed Arguments for Universal Human Rights 2. Getting Beyond Cross-Talk: Why Persisting Disagreements are Philosophically Nonfatal, by Michael G. Barnhart 3. Western Defensiveness and the Defense of Rights: A Communitarian Alternative, by Kenneth E. Morris 4. Rights Hunting in Non-Western Traditions, by Steven J. Hood Part 3. Human Rights Law and Its Limits 5. How a Liberal Jurist Defends the Bangkok Declaration, by Michael W. Dowdle 6. Are Women Human? The Promise and Perils of "Women's Rights as Human Rights", by Lucinda Joy Peach 7. Re-Positioning Human Rights Discourse on "Asian" Perspectives, by Sharon K. Hom Part 4. Rights Discourse and Power Relations 8. Human Rights and the Discourse on Universality: A Chinese Historical Perspective, by Xiaoqun Xu 9. Jihad Over Human Rights, Human Rights as Jihad: Clash of Universals, by Farhat Haq 10. Universalization of the Rejection of Human Rights: Russia's Case, by Dmitry Shlapentokh 11. Ethnicity and Human Rights in Contemporary Democracies: Israel and Other Cases, by Ilan Peleg 12. Walking Two Roads: Reading Human Rights in Contemporary Chinese Fiction, by Thomas N. Santos Part 5. Beyond Universalism and Relativism 13. Universalism: A Particularistic Account, by Andrew J. Nathan 14. Dedichotomizing Discourse: Three Gorges, Two Cultures, One Nature, by Jennifer R. Goodman Appendix A: Universal Declaration on Human Rights Appendix B: Bangkok Declaration on Human Rights Appendix C: Bangkok NGO Declaration on Human Rights Appendix D: Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women Index

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By tracing the relativist and universalist arguments of human rights through such issues as criminal justice, women's rights, and ethnicity, the contributors forge a new way of looking at this dichotomy. This new view is articulated as a sort of "chastened universalism," not as concerned with searching for pre-existing common values among different cultures, but for ways to create them.

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This collection of insightful essays is a valuable guide for those seeking to transcend the polarized debate about whether human rights are universal or culturally variable. It leaves the reader appreciating the necessity of drawing on both universal and cultural norms to fortify the public morality in each society that is the ultimate source of strength for the human rights ideal. -- Kenneth Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch Negotiating Culture and Human Rights is a major addition to the scholarly literature about human rights... Any university course on the subject would be much enriched by it. -- Philippa Strum, Gibbs Professor of Constitutional Law, Wayne State University

About the Author

Lynda Bell is associate professor of history at the University of California, Riverside. Andrew J. Nathan is professor of political science at Columbia University and author of China's Crisis and China's Transition (both by Columbia). Ilan Peleg is Charles A. Dana Professor of Goverment and Law at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania.


Rich and complex. International Affairs

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