ASLI Working Paper Series

Publication Title Individualism as Mood : Reflections on the Emergence of the Rhetoric of Liberalism
Publisher Asian Law Institute
Series WPS012
Publication Date Mar 2010
Author/Speaker Florin T. Hilbay
What is the relationship between technological change – the shift from manuscript to print – and human rights as a discourse rooted in the Enlightenment values of liberty and equality? In this paper, the author provides a general account of the structural modifications which occurred in the West as a consequence of the development of printing and the economy it produced. More specifically, he provides a theory as to how altered material conditions in the West made it possible for human beings of that era to conceptualize a libertarian model for relating with the emerging state system, which then became the foundational basis of today’s human rights movement.
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