Publication Details

Mackie, V. C. (2013). Introduction: ways of knowing about human rights in Asia. Asian Studies Review, 37 (3), 293-301.


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted on 10 December 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly. We have thus seen 65 years of the international project of addressing human rights issues at a global level through the United Nations and associated organisations. Human rights occupy a paradoxical place in international politics. Human rights treaties address the most intimate issues of personal freedom, autonomy and self-determination, but the institutions developed for the promotion of human rights operate at a global level seemingly distanced from this intimate and individual scale. In human rights advocacy there is thus constant mediation between the individual, the local, the national, the regional and the global. In this collection of essays we consider human rights issues at the regional level – in some East and Southeast Asian nations and in their associated national and diasporic communities.

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