This book examines the effects of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington of 11 September 2001 on America's human rights and counter-terrorism policies towards a number of countries in Asia. Five countries have been chosen for examination, divided into two front-lines states (Pakistan and Uzbekistan), two second-front countries (Indonesia and Malaysia), and a third-front country, China. The paper also looks at changes in US domestic legislation and its treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere in order to analyse the extent to which the US promotion of an external human rights policy might also have been compromised by its own legislative changes as a result of the struggle against terrorism.
The paper concludes that the attacks on US territory, overall, have constrained America's willingness and capacity to promote an external human rights policy with respect to these five countries. However, some attention - especially at the rhetorical level - to these countries' human rights records has been retained to differing degrees among the five states. This degree of difference is not explained entirely in reference to a country's perceived centrality to the struggle against terrorism. It depends on the extent to which the US executive and legislative branches are united - either singly or in combination - in their disapproval of a state's record, or in their understanding about how best to reach the policy goals that are sought.
Rosemary Foot is Professor of International Relations and the John Swire Senior Research Fellow at St. Antony's College, Oxford.