POL208 Midterm 2 Note package.doc

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Lilach Gilady

POL208 Midterm #2 Note Package Asia’s Different Standard (Bilahari Kausikan) Human rights have become a legitimate issue:  Emerging global culture of human rights & body of international law on it.  Post-Cold War: Western emphasis on human rights. East and Southeast Asia are re-examining their own human rights standards: respond seriously China, Indonesia, Burma, Tokyo, South Korea, etc.)  Improvements over the last 20 years, moving beyond a purely defensive attitude to a more active approach to human rights. Critics and problems: West: • Promotion of human rights was used as an ideological instrumental the East West struggle. • An instrument of economic competition. The West tends to emphasize values like openness and equal opportunity as economic competitiveness rises. • Intentions: Reason of prominence of human rights: reputation/image in media publics, NGOs, other interests groups. It is therefore difficult for Western governments to find politically compelling arguments to ignore human rights violations (pressure coming from the modern communication technologies) Taking about human rights is an easy, cheap, and popular war to exercise influence or maintain the illusion of involvement. East: • Intention to appease the West, self-interests and pressure. • Movement toward greater emphasis on human rights is not even. • It is difficult to deepen and expand the international consensus on human rights if East and Southeast Asian countries think that the Western promotion of human rights is based on the foundation of their own economic success. • Difficult to pursue the same (western) path: Page 1 of20 POL208 Midterm #2 Note Package  Western interpretation of human rights: diversity of cultural traditions, political structure, and levels of development do not necessarily suit the Eastern system.  Lecture notes: Everyone has different approaches to human rights (1 , st 2 ,3 generation rights  the West, the communist bloc and the less developed countries)  Unlike the West, some Asian countries such as Japan cannot escape the consequences if pressing human rights or forcing the pace of political change in its Asian neighbors leads to instability. (Distance makes it easier to be virtuous; proximity makes for prudence) Promotion by all countries will always be selective, even cynical  Policy motivations are rarely simple. Post-Cold War: human rights will be influenced by the power structure and dynamic of a more regionalized world trade and security will be prioritize in the international agenda. However, it is becoming more and more important. It is impossible to settle international laws on human rights once and forever: all international norms must evolve through continuing debate among different points of view. The implementation those laws will always be political and reflects the changing global power structures and political circumstances. (Lecture notes: Impossible to have a human rights policy because it distorts national interests and is too broad, ineffective, and expensive.) Doubts and suggestions: • Take consideration of the realities, values, cultures, and interests of the state which they try to help. • Insist on humane standards of behavior by vigorously protesting genocide, murder, torture, and slavery.  A legitimate right and moral duty to promote those core human rights: Help East to improve their existing system rather than encouraging “wild dreams” of self-determination. o Example : Protest against disappearance of East Timorese in Jakarta, object to the torture or murder of Tibetans. The responsibility is mainly on the West but we don’t know if the West is prepared to intervene and remain engaged, for decades, to restore order. Page 2 of20 POL208 Midterm #2 Note Package Summary – Asia’s Unacceptable Standard (1) Sophie Wen (The article begins addressing Kausikan’s points and along came Neier’s argument of them. After this was a more political focus I think.) Kausikan’s point #1: Characteristics of the West and the East. The West -“individualistic” or “adversarial”. The East - “communitarian” or “consensus seeking” Neier’s argument: The West and the East both have its own way of “individualistic” and “communitarian”. EX. Hong Kong falls into the “individualistic” West category with their economic achievements. There are also communitarian characteristics in the West, John Locke and Jefferson believed that the essential purpose and the function of a good government was the exercise of human rights. This would lead to a civilized society. Relating to the lecture as there was one slide saying the 3 different worlds. Each world has their own view of what are human rights. No one view was absolute and the ultimate definition of human rights. Neier argues that “consensus imposing” fits better than the term “consensus seeking”. “Consensus seeking” implies the freedom of speech and the freedom of media. Kausikan’s argument #2: “the authoritarian systems of Asia have produced stability and prosperity for their people…” Neier’s argument: The authors sees human rights play a stronger part economically rather than stability and prosperity. He argues that open societies in the world today are the leading economies rather than the closed ones. But he also suggests that denial of political freedom would mean economic failure. EX. Japan press’ criticism would not be tolerated in other ones such as China, Singapore etc. Hong Kong is not a democracy but has better media freedom than Singapore and a uprising economy. Page 3of 20 POL208 Midterm #2 Note Package Kausikan’s argument #3: “Asia would resist Western efforts to promote human rights, particularly if they are seen to threaten the foundations of Asian economic success.” Neier’ argument: The West’s wealth came before (along?) the growing awareness of human rights. Examples were the Great Britain and the United States. During when they acquired wealth, there were also the growing aspects of human rights. Neier argued that the economic success that some in the East has achieved today came at a great cost. Example was Mao Tse-tung’s “Great Leap Forward”, it has caused famine, and freedom of speech was violated therefore making the situation worse. After these arguments, Neier start to talk what Kausikan has said about the Reagan-Bush administration and the connection between ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’. To promote democracy would mean violation of ‘freedom’ they were mere political tools. Relating class material: Morgenthau idea – the autonomy of the political sphere Human rights are moral aspects; they cannot be mixed with political which represents national interests. The mixture of the two would distort national interest. Human rights movement should not be in line with the promotion of democracy, which is a political aspect. Neier discusses Kausikan’s point about the West promoting independence for territories such as East Timor or Tibet. Basically Neier is saying that the West isn’t promoting this. But rather territories such as East Timor or Tibet are trying to invoke human rights to promote their own independence. Relating to the class material about the discussion of the 3 worlds again. This is a perfect example of the 3 world where their aspect of the human rights are more about who should rule them, right as a group to preserve their culture and language. Which flag they would use. – Self-determination. Kausikan, as a matter about detention without trail and press freedom, he suggests that they should not be on the international human rights agenda. Neier, or the movement says yes and they are universal rights. Asia’s Unacceptable Standard Summary (2) Emma Murray This reading is a criticism of Kausikan’s analysis Page 4 of20 POL208 Midterm #2 Note Package General Points: • The mean reasons to promote human rights are b/c they are intrinsic values. He says that the right of all persons to be free from cruel and arbitrary punishment; to express themselves freely and equality are fundamental rights because they define us as human beings • Kausikan’s Points Aryeh Neier’s Points West is individualistic and east is Each region had individualistic and communitarian or consensus communitarian seeking • Hong Kong entrepreneurs are as individualistic as western counterparts • Some westerners (John Locke) believed that civil society was needed for individual rights - meant for the establishment of good government • They are see as individual b/c they believe rulers authority was conditional not absolute + didn’t give up all rights entering civil society Uses the term consensus seeking Consensus imposing is more fitting b/c (implies people can express views Kausikan’s doesn’t support press freedoms and be heard) which are outlined as essential to the process Makes a case to delay human Human rights are instrumental in rights pending prosperity economic success • Open societies are doing better economically than closed societies • There are exceptions that show that political freedom by itself isn’t a guarantee of prosperity and vice versa Western Wealth that “allows the His point carries the implication that operation of political institutions western wealth came before human rights; that in less-favorable they rose together circumstances could lead to disaster” The pursuit of civil and political There are other factors to stopping growth rights are not compatible with and stability stability and economic growth • During the Great Leap Forward many people didn’t report the famine because in the previous period those who did faced Page 5 of 20 POL208 Midterm #2 Note Package persecution • Human rights watched reached the conclusion that right are not luxuries to be enjoyed only after certain economic development had been reached Says the NGO’s and human rights Generally members of “the movement” activists push discussions beyond don’t want to associated with democracy their legitimacy to abstract promotion concepts that disregard culture • Reject approaches that politicize and political circumstance – human rights Associates it was promoting • There is a problem with the democracy classification of what a democracy is or is not for Regan and Bush administrations; they said that if democracy existed, human rights would follow – “the movement” criticized this • With the Tibet issue, the movement or certain parts of it have refrained from taking sides • They won’t take a stand on self- determination reflects the recognition that cultural and historical circumstances determine such questions not just international convents Says detention without trail and Say the opposite: the circumstances must freedom of the press shouldn’t be be dire for the ends to be worth of those on international human rights means agenda – not part of core rights • Point out that those two things have and sometimes the ends may be been put into regional human rights worthy of the means agreements one of which Asia Governments are wise in denying (which has not identified itself as a those rights at times region) does not have • The test of weather a right is universal is weather states universally assert an obligation to respect it • Governments often used these methods to silence critics Page 6 of 20 POL208 Midterm #2 Note Package March 18: Rethinking the state- Reshaping Security Should Human Security Be the Core Value of Canadian Foreign Policy? (1) By: William Zhang 4 realist assumptions of traditional, national security approach: -existence of an anarchical international system which prompts individual states to pursue their own self-interest -foreign attack is a constant and overriding threat to state security - states must therefore exercise eternal vigilance and make appropriate pre-emptory preparations -national security hinges on the effective management of military force and the balance of power -national security takes precedence over the individual security of members of the state Respect for sovereignty and non-intervention are thus two central tenets of a national security approach Changes to the international system following the conclusion of the Cold War have led to growing skepticism towards the relevancy of national security conceptualizations, and a call for redirection of state foreign policy towards the promotion of "human security" The human security approach emphasizes the maintenance of a basic minimum standard of human treatment for all individuals as an objective that supersedes state interests and national security. As a result, intervention and infringements of state sovereignty are acceptable and even necessary in circumstances where governments are found to be in violation of the human rights of their citizens Page 7 of 20 POL208 Midterm #2 Note Package Human security focuses not only on direct forms of violence, but also the existence of structural violence (unnecessary impediments to individual rights and standard of living, such as racial/ethnic stratification or inadequate healthcare infrastructure) Focuses on seven distinct dimensions of security: economic, food, health, environmental, personal, community, and political Tied to the promotion of democratic development (link to democratic peace theory?) Draws attention to the human costs of violent conflict, leading to initiatives such as a ban on landmines and the creation of the International Criminal Court (human security can thus be tied into just war theory, specifically the concepts of proportionality in war and enforcement of post- war justice) Pros of the adoption of a human security approach: allows for states to move away from unilateral foreign policy positions, encourages more integrated cooperation which will be necessary in facing increasingly transnational and global issues such as global warming, human trafficking, outbreak of global pandemics, etc. Moral argument: idealistic obligation, as democratic governments, to ensure all human beings enjoy a bare minimum of rights does not necessarily supplant national security - the state remains the most effective mechanism for the implementation of human security objectives, and improvements to human security increase the legitimacy, stability, and security of states -In coordination with the premises of democratic peace theory - the institutionalization of human rights and democratic values as global norms would reduce the likelihood of interstate conflict Cons: Current realizations of human security are couched in vague, unspecific language; thus, a foreign policy with it as a foundation would be too broad, ineffective, too expensive -Human rights, by definition, are highly culturally relative - attempts to legislate human rights policies of other countries can lead to cultural imperialism - raising problematic moral implications -Objectives of human security often clash with objectives of national security, leading to states being placed in precarious positions. Situations where states must abandon human policy initiatives for the sake of its self-preservation lead to an unnecessary increase of domestic cynicism and discontent -Erosion of state sovereignty and the principle of non-intervention sets a dangerous precedent Page 8 of 20 POL208 Midterm #2 Note Package -Legislation of human security sets defined protocols for often-circumstantial and unpredictable scenarios - thus limiting the flexibility and innovation of solutions -lack of uniform intervention in human rights issues leads to claims of hypocrisy Implications for IR: -Adoption of human security approach, and consequently the promotion of foreign intervention and necessary impediments to state sovereignty, constitutes a departure from a Westphalian conception of the international system -national security is based in realist dogma (Morgenthau - separation of political and moral spheres), while human security advocates derive from liberal and constructivist ideologies (importance of institutions, universal norms, human rights in IR as a post-Cold War development resulting from structural and social changes) -Human security approach is only legitimate if states approach intervention with objectivity and uniformity - in instances where states pick and choose which situations to intervene in, claims of intervention for the sake of promoting human rights can be no more than a cosmetic embellishment of a realist, state-centric agenda -The current framework of international law is not suited to the promotion of individual human rights - as states are considered the primarily legal entity - a shift towards human security in state foreign policy would thus also require a reconstitution of the premises of international law in order to be truly effective -A human security approach to foreign policy allows for intervention in certain cases based on the guidelines of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) - which redefines state sovereignty as a responsibility towards ones citizens rather than a right to indiscriminate action -R2P has three dimensions = responsibility to prevent, responsibility to react, responsibility to rebuild March 18: Should Human Security be the Core Value of Canadian Foreign Policy? (Mark Charlton) (2) During the 20 th century, the paradigm adopted by policy makers was that of the realist agenda (states are in constant danger of foreign attack in a a world of anarchy.) Recently, there has been a shift towards human security (the well-being of individuals) rather than national security (protection of state) Yes (Lloyd Axworthy) No (William W. Bain) • According to standards of UN, human • ‘Human security’ is too abstract and security includes economic, political, broad Page 9 of 20 POL208 Midterm #2 Note Package environmental, nutritional, personal, • Canada’s foreign policy: i) Promote as well as community prosperity and employment, ii) • Civilians face dangers of conflict such Protect Canadian values and culture as civil war, drug trafficking, abroad, iii) Protect security within a terrorism, disease, and genocide
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