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Human rights and regional order - Amitav Acharya

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  1. Relatives human rights: the spearhead of ASEAN
    1. Socio-economic, cultural and political background that determines legal human rights
    2. Balance between individualistic approach and interest of the society in terms of human rights
  2. Absolute human rights: developed by the west and disseminated in the world
    1. Definition of human rights in term of Western values vs ASEAN
    2. Attempt to disseminate Western ideas of human rights by their soft or hard power
  3. National governmental instrument to ensure the stability of the State in ASEAN countries
    1. National governmental instrument to ensure the stability of the State in ASEAN countries
    2. International and proselytic tool of the West to maintain and strengthen their place on the world diplomatic stage

After the end of the Cold-War and the tolerance of human rights denial, these have become an issue in ASEAN agenda and the core of the new geopolitical framework between the West and Southeast Asia.

This conflict reflects the lively debate between absolute and relative rights. If absolute and natural rights could be assimilated in being universal and inalienable, relative rights are contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of a particular culture or government. They shall be distinguished from legal or social rights, evolving and given to citizens in a legal system that is actually the very application of absolute or relative rights in a Nation-State.

Thus, this article written by Amitav Acharya highlights the post-Cold-War conflict between the western vision of absolute rights promoted in the "New World Order" particularly by the US, and the legal system of ASEAN reflecting its relative and not only regional but national view of human rights.

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