Lynette J. Chua, "The Politics of Rights and Southeast Asia" (Cambridge UP, 2022)


The Politics of Rights and Southeast Asia (Cambridge UP, 2022) offers an empirically-grounded approach to understanding the mobilisation of rights in the region. Instead of deriving definitions of rights from abstract philosophical text, court verdicts or statutes, the book advances a socio-legal approach which considers rights as social practices that take meaning from the various ways in which people enact, mobilise, and practice these rights. In doing so, the book offers a point of view that goes beyond the liberal versus critical rights perspective debate.

The book is structured in three sections, with each section focusing on (1) the structural conditions that influence the emergence of rights mobilisation in the region; (2) the various ways in which people mobilise these rights; and (3) the consequences of these mobilisations. It concludes with a call to give rights a chance while embracing its incoherence.

Lynette J. Chua is Professor of Law at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

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Nicole Curato is a Professor of Sociology in the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra. She co-hosts the New Books in Southeast Asia Studies channel.

This episode was created in collaboration with Erron C. Medina of the Development Studies Program of Ateneo De Manila University and Nicole Anne Revita.

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