Globalisation, cultural diversity and the search for a new global ethics

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The search for a global ethics that can guide regulation in the field of culture has been one of the most divisive issues in the construction of the post-war international order. Over the last decade the main political theatre of these controversies, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), has seen the adoption of two instruments on cultural diversity that have been heralded as a breakthrough in the search for such a global ethics. This chapter gives an introduction to the new UNESCO instruments and seeks to take a step back from the high-stake economic and political rivalries that have tended to frame their analysis. After introducing the background to their adoption, the chapter then examines the attempt that was made to outline a new global ethics at UNESCO over the 1990s, going on to trace how this work in the 1990s came to be taken up and recast as part of the campaigns for cultural diversity that gathered political force over the following years. The chapter ends with some observations about how we might respond to the resulting instruments in internationally focused discussions about culture, politics and ethics
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCultural and ethical turns: interdisciplinary reflections on culture
EditorsBen Garner, S. Pavlenko, S. Shaheen, A. Wolanski
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherInter-Disciplinary Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781848880542
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NameCritical issues: imaginative research in a changing world
PublisherInter-Disciplinary Press


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