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학술저널

Universal Public Values and Regional Divergence

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Purpose: This paper explores the inherent tensions between public and private, universalism and relativism, rights and their translation into obligations, and global governance and regional divergence, that make public value(s) an essentially contested concept. It argues that while there may be something approaching universal normative appreciation of certain public values, there are divergences of interpretation and application of these principles, that nevertheless reflect a degree of regional consensus and conformity based on competing epistemological traditions. Method: This research project used a qualitative approach consisting of literature review and document analysis. The results of this study should be supplemented by quantitative and qualitative studies in the future. The literature review consists of a comprehensive assessment of scholarly academic publications from competing perspectives in the fields of political philosophy, public administration and international relations. The document survey is mainly related to the policy documentation output of national governments and international organizations. Results: The research identifies how the divide between the Western (European) and non-Western (Asian) traditions has regularly manifested in competing governance policy prescription. Yet, due to further divergence within these traditions, and a degree of overlapping consensus between them, the paper also rejects the discredited but still influential Asian values, Clash of Civilizations, and communitarian relativist paradigms. Conclusion: The research project engaged holistically with the contemporary values debates between universal and relativist perspectives at multiple levels of governance, from national, through regional, to international organizational, and ultimately global. Ultimately it rejects both extreme positions at all levels of governance - nowhere is there a completely shared understanding of universal values or their implications in terms of governance responsibilities, but at the same time the mutual exclusivity of relativism is also disproven. Instead, the findings of the research point towards an overlapping consensus of value understandings from competing epistemological perspectives.

1. Introduction: Public versus Private

2. Universalism versus Relativism

3. Rejection of Regionalism and Bottom-Up Convergence

4. Conclusion

5. References

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