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Human Rights in the Asia-Europe Dialogue

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  • Howard Loewen
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    Abstract

    While the European Union (EU) favours a formal, binding, output-oriented, and to some extent supranational approach to cooperation, the institutional architecture of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is built on informal, non-binding, process-oriented norms of intergovernmental cooperation. This article takes up the question of whether these differences between European and Asian cooperation norms and cultures account for interregional cooperation problems in the areas of democracy and human rights within the institutional context of EU-ASEAN and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). The author argues that a clash of cooperation cultures basically occurs in both channels of interregional collaboration between Asia and Europe, with slight differences due to the institutional context: While disagreements between the EU and ASEAN over the questions of democracy and human rights have led to a temporary and complete standstill in cooperation, the flexible institutional mechanisms of ASEM seem, at first sight, to mitigate the disruptive effects of such dialogues. However, informality does not remove the issues from the agenda, as the recurrent disputes over Burma’s participation in the ASEM clearly indicate.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg in its journal Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 75-88

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    Handle: RePEc:gig:soaktu:v:27:y:2008:i:4:p:75-88

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