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Conclusion: Towards Human Rights Constitutionalism In Asia And The United States?

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Chapter Summary

The most significant development in institutions of politics and law during the twentieth century may have been the human rights revolution. The status of human rights has depended less on the instruments of force than on the elements of nobility and shame at exposure of barbarism in the human character. In 1991 five themes stood out in Asia's constitutional politics: leadership succession problems; corruption based on family or patron-client favoritism; the military's diminishing role in governance; the salience of religion as a positive or negative force in constitutionalism; and human rights issues. A comparative study of constitutional systems in Asia at the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights can sharpen perspective on the state of American constitutionalism. Human rights constitutionalism requires both tolerance and assurance to all of basic needs and services, the goals of many Asian constitutional systems in the late twentieth century.

Keywords: Asia; constitutional politics; corruption; human rights constitutionalism; human rights revolution; leadership succession problems; patron-client favoritism; United States



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