In Power of Human Rights (Risse et al 1999) the authors introduced the Spiral Model and hoped it would be transformational for our understanding of how states’ engagement with human rights proceeds from repressing human rights to being compliant with international legal standards safeguarding human rights. In their follow-up publication, The Persistent Power of Human Rights (Risse et al 2013), the authors focused on what stopped states from turning a commitment to abide with international standards of human rights into acting in compliance with them. I argue that ASEAN has reached the stage in the Spiral Model where it has shown a commitment to human rights but it is facing obstacles in turning this commitment to compliance. This project is concerned with assessing whether the obstacles identified in The Persistent Power of Human Rights helps to explain the lack of progress to compliance or whether ASEAN’s own diplomatic practice is the hindrance. Identifying the obstacles will enable an assessment of whether ASEAN’s commitment to human rights is regressing, thus providing evidence that progression though the Spiral Model is not unidirectional but one marked by backsliding as well as progression.
About the Speaker:
Alan Collins is a Professor at Swansea University, United Kingdom. Prior to this he was a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, where he also completed his PhD. He has published on ASEAN as a Security Community, the role of civil society in ASEAN, and the security dilemmas within Southeast Asia.