ASEAN and human rights norms: Constructivism, rational choice, and the action-identity gap

Mathew Davies*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    34 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    ASEAN's engagement with human rights is characterized by an actionidentity gap; member states have created impressive regional commitments while continually violating rights domestically. This gap suggests that member states of ASEAN have used rights for political ends, the enhancement of ASEAN's legitimacy in the eyes of critics, not because they are understood as morally correct. The strategic use of norms indicates that existing recourse to constructivist accounts of norms in ASEAN, currently the dominant explanatory framework, is incorrect. This article argues that an alternative, rational choice, framework for appraising norms within ASEAN offers greater explanatory insight into how and why human rights emerged into ASEAN after 1997. This argument suggests a revised approach to understanding norm violation within ASEAN and through that a more accurate appraisal of the nature of contemporary ASEAN.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)207-231
    Number of pages25
    JournalInternational Relations of the Asia-Pacific
    Volume13
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May 2013

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