Human Rights and Regional Institutions

  • Avery PooleEmail author
Part of the The Theories, Concepts and Practices of Democracy book series (PSTCD)


Why has the promotion and protection of human rights become a standard reference in the rhetoric of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)? And why did ASEAN create a regional human rights commission? This is puzzling given the prevailing ASEAN norm of ‘non-interference in the internal affairs of one another’, which has traditionally meant that member states’ human rights records are excluded from membership criteria and as a topic of official dialogue. This chapter traces the processes through which ideas and initiatives in regard to human rights were initially proposed and advanced in ASEAN, and eventually emerged in agreed-upon text. It argues that the adoption of human rights in ASEAN rhetoric can be explained with reference to member states’ concerns about external regional legitimacy.


ASEAN Human rights Rhetoric Legitimacy 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG)CarltonAustralia

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