Transworld Paper No. 43
by Meltem Müftüler-Baç and Damla Cihangir-Tetik
What kind of a future is there for human rights governance, especially if the transatlantic partners – the key actors behind its establishment – are in decline? Do emerging powers participate and contribute to the international liberal order regarding human rights issues and democratic governance? These are important questions that play critical roles in shaping the future of human rights governance. The emerging powers face serious domestic problems and have shortcomings in terms of human rights. The paper provides a brief introduction regarding the human rights and democracy promotion policies of transatlantic partners as a part of their foreign policy endeavours. The paper further investigates the role of the rising powers in shaping the future of the global governance in the field of human rights, specifically by looking at the extent to which they prioritize human rights and democracy in their foreign policies, in particular in comparison to the transatlantic partners. The analysis of the paper enables us to understand the failure of the West in establishing a binding, institutionalized human rights regime and the subsequent opportunity that the rising powers found to expand their foreign policy tools and develop alternative development models by prioritizing their national and economic interests instead of considering fundamental human rights and democracy.