Balancing Mutualism with Legalism

By Ooi Kee Beng

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THE NOTION OF “Rights” is as close to the essence of politics as one can come in a word. This is because “Rights”, like “Respect”, are earned, not granted. The loser in a political struggle may maintain the illusion that he is granting rights to the winning side. He is forced to give way; he was not being generous in giving way. “Rights” thus stem from agreements between parties forced to the negotiating table, and granted at said table –...

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Ooi Kee Beng

is the Executive Director of Penang Institute. His recent books include The Eurasian Core and its Edges: Dialogues with Wang Gungwu on the History of the World (ISEAS 2016). Homepage: