chapter
20 Pages

Introduction

Are there such things as Asian values, understood as a common social morality embraced by that half of humanity living in Asia today? Hardly, we contend, apart from the common humane values that are also shared by the other half of humanity. This anthology intends to show that there is no distinctively ‘Asian’ perspective, entirely different from Western or other perspectives and unanimously shared by all Asian societies. Accordingly, we are not concerned with identifying a specific Asianness in the approach to human rights, but with investigating the background for what has now established itself as the Asian values argument in international politics as well as with tracing similarities and dissimilarities in the current controversies over human rights and national cultures in Asian societies.