WWS Calendar

LAPA Seminar - Rights Refracted: Disability Rights Diffusion and Anti-Discrimination Legislation in South Korea and Japan

Feb 12, 2018 04:30PM to 06:00PM
301 Marx Hall


Open to the Public
Celeste L. Arrington, LAPA Fellow; The George Washington University. Commentator: Frank L. Upham, New York University School of Law

LAPA’s seminar format encourages attendees to familiarize themselves with the paper in advance. The commentator opens the session by summarizing the main themes in the paper and presenting some topics for discussion.

Copies of the seminar paper are available during regular business hours at the LAPA Office, 342 Wallace Hall.

From Professor Arrington:

Disability rights have expanded worldwide, including in East Asia. South Korea and Japan both recently enacted legislation banning disability-based discrimination. Yet the Japanese law had a less detailed definition, narrower scope, and weaker enforcement mechanisms. These differences present a puzzle for existing theories of international rights diffusion, emulation, and socialization. Indeed, both governments and activists from both countries were involved in crafting the 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and admired the earlier Americans with Disabilities Act. Comparing Korea and Japan indicates that, while international law and transnational activism have a role to play in inspiring and enabling domestic actors, it is necessary to consider domestic factors to understand the particular rights regimes that countries adopt. This paper shows that diffused rights ideas were refracted and then projected onto domestic law in distinctive ways in Korea and Japan by the interaction of three domestic factors: 1) existing repertoires of legal mobilization and collective action, 2) the domestic political debates in which disability discrimination was couched, and 3) the institutional templates available for implementing anti-discrimination provisions.
    MORE INFORMATION: Contact Judi Rivkin, jrivkin@princeton.edu