The Asian Yearbook of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law aims to publish peer-reviewed scholarly articles and reviews as well as significant developments in human rights and humanitarian law. It examines international human rights and humanitarian law with a global reach, though its particular focus is on the Asian region.

The focused theme of Volume 4 is Law, Culture and Human Rights in Asia and the Middle East.
Transregional Perspectives on Development Cooperation, Social Mobility and Cultural Change
African-Asian interactions contribute to the emergence of a decentred, multi-polar world in which different actors need to redefine themselves and their relations to each other. Afrasian Transformations explores these changes to map out several arenas where these transformations have already produced startling results: development politics, South-South cooperation, cultural memory, mobile lifeworlds and transcultural connectivity. The contributions in this volume neither celebrate these shifting dynamics as felicitous proof of a new age of South-South solidarity, nor do they debunk them as yet another instance of burgeoning geopolitical hegemony. Instead, they seek to come to terms with the ambivalences, contradictions and potential benefits entailed in these transformations – that are also altering our understanding of (trans)area in an increasingly globalized world.

Contributors include: Seifudein Adem, Nafeesah Allen, Hanna Getachew Amare, Tom De Bruyn, Casper Hendrik Claassen, Astrid Erll, John Njenga Karugia, Guive Khan-Mohammad, Vinay Lal, Pavan Kumar Malreddy, Jamie Monson, Diderot Nguepjouo, Satwinder Rehal, Ute Röschenthaler, Alexandra Samokhvalova, and Sophia Thubauville.
Rupture and Continuity in Modern Chinese Detective Fiction (1896–1949)
Author: Yan Wei
In Detecting Chinese Modernities: Rupture and Continuity in Modern Chinese Detective Fiction (1896–1949), Yan Wei historicizes the two stages in the development of Chinese detective fiction and discusses the rupture and continuity in the cultural transactions, mediation, and appropriation that occurred when the genre of detective fiction traveled to China during the first half of the twentieth century. Wei identifies two divergent, or even opposite strategies for appropriating Western detective fiction during the late Qing and the Republican periods. She further argues that these two periods in the domestication of detective fiction were also connected by shared emotions. Both periods expressed ambivalent and sometimes contradictory views regarding Chinese tradition and Western modernity.
Roger Des Forges here examines the puzzle of Li Yan, a Chinese scholar who advised the rebel Li Zicheng (1605-1645), and helped him to overthrow the Ming, only to die at his hands. For more than three centuries, Li Yan’s identity and even existence were seriously questioned. Then, in 2004, there was discovered a genealogical manuscript which includes a Li Yan (1606-1644). He now appears to be the principal historical reality behind the Li Yan story, which became a powerful metaphor for the rise and fall of Li Zicheng’s rebellion. Offering a fresh theory of Chinese and world history, the author elucidates Li Yan’s historical significance by comparing and contrasting him with similar figures in other times and places around the globe.
The Movement and its Centennial Legacy
Remembering May Fourth: The Movement and its Centennial Legacy is a collective work of thirteen scholars who reflect on the question of how to remember the May Fourth Movement, one of the most iconic socio-political events in the history of modern China. The book discusses a wide range of issues concerning the relations between politics and memory, between writing and ritualizing, between fiction and reality, and between theory and practice. Remembering May Fourth thus calls into question the ways in which the movement is remembered, while at the same time calling for the need to create new memories of the movement.
The Early Years of the Chinese Communist Party
Author: Tony Saich
What does a Dutchman have to do with the rise of the Chinese Communist Party? Finding Allies and Making Revolution by Tony Saich reveals how Henk Sneevliet (alias Maring), arriving as Lenin’s choice for China work, provided the communists with two of their most enduring legacies: the idea of a Leninist party and the tactic of the united front. Sneevliet strived to instill discipline and structure for the left-leaning intellectuals searching for a solution to China’s humiliation. He was not an easy man and clashed with the Chinese comrades and his masters in Moscow. This new analysis is based on Sneevliet’s diaries and reports, together with contemporary materials from key Chinese figures, and important documents held in the Comintern’s China archive.
Text and Context in the Modern History of Chinese Religions: Redemptive Societies and Their Sacred Texts is an edited volume (Philip Clart, David Ownby, and Wang Chien-chuan) offering eight essays on the modern history of redemptive societies in China and Vietnam by an international cast of scholars. The focus of the volume is on the texts produced by the various groups, examining questions of textual production (spirit-writing), textual traditions (how to “modernize” traditional discourse), textual authority (the role of texts in making a master a master), and the distribution of texts (via China’s experience of “print capitalism”). Throughout, the goal is to explore in depth what some scholars have called the most vital aspect of Chinese religion during the Republican period.
Cultural Encounters between the Chinese, the Dutch, and Other Europeans, 1590-1800
What was the cultural impact of early meetings between Chinese and Europeans? This book explores visual, literary, and scholarly representations of the Celestial Empire and Western countries against the backdrop of actual encounters. Based on rare Chinese and, correspondingly, European (especially Dutch) sources and archival documents, the volume covers a range of cultural expressions from the applied arts to philosophy. Special attention goes to the ideals and realities of trade and diplomacy of the Dutch East India Company in China. Foreign Devils and Philosophers approaches global history from a cultural perspective and illuminates the reciprocal dynamic of aversion and admiration: Chinese and Westerners could appear as sages or savages in each other’s eyes.
Author: Jana Rošker
The book Becoming Human: Li Zehou’s Ethics offers a critical introduction and in-depth analysis of Li Zehou’s moral philosophy and ethics. Li Zehou, who is one of the most influential contemporary Chinese philosophers, believes that ethics is the most important philosophical discipline. He aims to revive, modernize, develop, and complement Chinese traditional ethics through what he calls “transformative creation” (轉化性的創造). He takes Chinese ethics, which represents the main pillar of Chinese philosophy, as a vital basis for his elaborations on certain aspects of Kant’s, Marx’s and other Western theoreticians’ thoughts on ethics, and hopes to contribute in this way to the development of a new global ethics for all of humankind.
Gao Xingjian's Theatre of the Tragic
Author: Letizia Fusini
In Dionysus on the Other Shore, Letizia Fusini argues that throughout his early exile years (late 1980s-1990s), Gao Xingjian gradually moved away from Absurdist Drama to develop a dramaturgical system with tragic characteristics. Drawing on a range of contemporary theories of tragedy, this book reconfigures some of the key tropes of Gao’s post-1987 theater as varied articulations of the Dionysian sparagmos mechanism. They are the dismemberment of the dramatic self, the usage of constricted spaces, the divisive nature of gender relations, and the agony of verbal language. Through a text-based analysis of seven plays, the author ultimately aims to show that in Gao’s theater, tragedy is an ongoing and mostly subtextual dynamism generated by an interplay of psychic forces concurrently cohesive and divisive.