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Minority Rights in Asia: A Comparative Legal Analysis

Joshua Castellino, Elvira Domínguez Redondo


This book analyzes the minority rights legal regimes in India, China, Malaysia, and Singapore, and places the discussion in the context of a wider debate on human rights in Asia. It takes a multi-disciplinary approach, including comparative constitutional analysis, international relations, and social and cultural anthropology. The book contains detailed case studies, which are supported by critical commentary. India and China, the world's most populous states, face similar problems vis-à-vis minorities, yet tackle these using starkly different techniques. Malaysia and Singapore, vocal in their articulation of ‘Asian Values’, have taken opposing stances over minority rights. Malaysia has sought to establish Malay hegemony using minority rights tools in favour of the majority, while Singapore deliberately adopted a doctrine of meritocracy, nonetheless emphasising ethnic fault-lines within its population. Together the four states reflect not only the complex layers of culture and identity within Asian states, but also the vastly different political systems and contrasting conceptions of the role of law in the continent. Through its examination of minority rights theory and its application in specific cases, this book provides a useful comparative model for the assessment of other states within Asia, thereby taking an important first step towards understanding the situation of minorities within the entire continent.

Bibliographic Information

Joshua Castellino, author

Elvira Domínguez Redondo, author

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