Asia Europe Journal

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 39–54 | Cite as

ASEAN and human rights: challenges to the EU’s diffusion of human rights norms

  • Laura Allison-Reumann
Original Paper


Although it seemed that the year 2012 was to be a pivotal moment for the EU in terms of positioning itself as a global supporter and defender of human rights, the Union continues to find it challenging to foster substantial ideational human rights change in ASEAN, despite cooperation growing on a practical level. Drawing on diffusion theory and with a focus on EU-ASEAN relations, this article examines the EU’s capacity to promote human rights to ASEAN and argues that whilst there is awareness within the EU of the shortcomings and challenges of EU external action concerning human rights support, how the EU diffuses human rights norms remains a challenge for the Union. This is primarily due to the fact that EU norm exportation takes place in the context of omnidirectional ideational flows which do not always facilitate the EU’s agenda or provide the intended outcomes of EU policy.


Corporate Social Responsibility European Union Diffusion Theory Norm Diffusion Civil Society Group 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The author would like to thank the anonymous reviewers and Philomena Murray for their valuable comments on earlier drafts of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Public Policy and Global Affairs ProgrammeNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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