Offering an investigation of the ways in which matters of human rights give shape to the European Union's interaction with Asia, this volume argues for the consideration of selected social-constructivist perspectives with regard to the Asia-EU dialogue. It puts into context the function of ideas, identities, values, norms and human rights. Through a number of country-specific and regional case studies, the text examines both the 'enabling' and the 'inhibitory' potential of human rights in the Union's relations with Asian interlocutors. The book proposes a more inclusive, holistic understanding of the significance and potential of the human rights discourse in East-West contacts. It is aimed at a wide readership from the disciplines of politics, international relations, Asian studies, law and human rights.