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Bibliography: Books

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There is a tremendous amount of literature related to human rights in China; we collect here some of the best recent work. We list here the best books and collections of essays on the subject; articles are listed under the "Article" tab, below. Whenever possible, we also include here reviews of the books we list.

Please note that items marked with an asterisk (*) are available on-line only at institutions that subscribe to Project Muse.




  • Angle, Stephen C. Human Rights and Chinese Thought: A Cross-Cultural Inquiry (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002).
  • Baehr, Peter R., et. al., eds. Human Rights: Chinese and Dutch Perspectives (The Hague: Kluwer Law International, 1996).
  • Bauer, Joanne R. and Daniel A. Bell, eds. The East Asian Challenge for Human Rights (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1999).
  • Bell, Daniel A. East meets West. Human rights and democracy in East Asia (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2000).
  • Bell, Lynda S., Nathan, Andrew J., and Peleg, Ilan, eds. Negotiating Culture and Human Rights (New York: Columbia University Press, 2001)
  • Chan, Anita. China's Workers Under Assault: The Exploitation of Labor in a Globalizing Economy (Armonk, NY: ME Sharpe, 2002).
  • de Bary, Wm. Theodore. Asian Values and Human Rights. A Confucian Communitarian Perspective (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998).
  • -----, and Tu Weiming, eds. Confucianism and Human Rights (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998).
    • Reviewed in Lionel M. Jensen, "Human Rights, Chinese Rites, and the Limits of History." The Historian 62:2 (Winter 2000), pp. 378-85.
    • Reviewed in Gregory J. Walters, "Is a Global Human Rights Community Possible?" International Philosophical Quarterly 39:2 (June 1999), pp. 209-215.
    • Reviewed by Marina Svensson in Journal of Asian Studies 58:2 (1999).
  • Davis, Michael C., ed. Chinese Values and Human Rights (Hong Kong: Oxford University Press, 1995).
  • Edwards, R. Randle, Louis Henkin, and Andrew J. Nathan, eds. Human Rights in Contemporary China (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986).
  • Foot, Rosemary. Rights beyond borders. The global community and the struggle over human rights in China (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).
  • Hall, David L. and Roger T. Ames, The Democracy of the Dead. Dewey, Confucius, and the Hope for Democracy in China (Chicago: Open Court, 1999).
  • Jacobsen, Michael and Ole Bruun, Human Rights and Asian Values: Contesting National Identities and Cultural Representations in Asia (Richmond, Curzon: 2000).
  • Kent, Ann. Between freedom and subsistence. China and human rights (Hong Kong: Oxford University Press, 1993).
  • -----. China, the United Nations, and human rights—The limits of compliance (Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999).
  • Santoro, Michael A. Profits and principles. Global capitalism and human rights in China (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 2000).
  • Seymour, James D. and Richard Anderson, New Ghosts Old Ghosts: Prisons and Labour Reform Camps in China (Armonk and London: M. E. Sharpe, 1998).
  • Svensson, Marina. The Chinese conception of human rights: the debate on human rights in China, 1898-1949 (Ph.D. dissertation, Department of East Asian Languages, Lund University, Sweden, 1996).
  • ---. Debating human rights in China: a conceptual and political history (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002).
  • Traeholt, Anne-Marie, and Errol. P. Mendes, eds., Human rights: Chinese & Canadian perspectives (Ottowa: Human Rights Research and Education Centre, 1997)
  • Van Ness, Peter, ed. Debating human rights. Critical essays from United States and Asia (London: Routledge, 1999).
  • Wan, Ming. Human Rights in Chinese Foreign Relations. Defining & Defending National Interests (Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001).
  • Weatherley, Robert. The discourse of human rights in China. Historical and ideological perspectives (London: Macmillan Press Ltd, 1999).
  • Wei Jingsheng; Kristina M. Torgeson, ed. and trans., The Courage to Stand Alone: Letters from Prison and Other Writings (New York: Viking, 1997).

Site established: 6/20/2001
Last update: 6/23/08
Copyright © 2001 by Stephen C. Angle and Marina Svensson. Permission is hereby granted for all non-commercial uses of these materials.