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Asian Values Debate

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In 1993, the Bangkok Declaration on Human Rights affirmed the commitment of various Asian states to the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights while calling for greater emphasis to be given to economic, social, and cultural rights in comparison to civil and political rights. The Singaporean political leader, Lee Kuan Yew, became a strong advocate for this position, arguing that Asian societies had different values from Western societies and that these values were in important respects superior. Lee pointed to social pathologies such as high instances of crime, drug abuse, and family breakdown present in modern Western liberal democracies and argued that what he termed Asian values such as respect for authority and consideration of the community’s interests above the individual’s interests could allow for economic growth and promote social harmony while avoiding the social pathologies prevalent in the West. He emphasized the Confucian tradition as a source...

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References

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© 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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Myers, T.E. (2011). Asian Values Debate. In: Chatterjee, D.K. (eds) Encyclopedia of Global Justice. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_164

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