Rip it up and start again? The contemporary relevance of the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity

Ben Garner*, Justin O'Connor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Since its adoption in 2005, the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions has become a central reference point for cultural policy around the world. However, there remains little scrutiny of how effectively this instrument frames the international policy agenda around culture, economy and development under contemporary conditions of rapid, and contested, global transformation. Through a critical review of the core content of the Convention and some of the experiences gained from its implementation over the first decade, one of the arguments proposed in the paper is that the Convention has had the effect of reinforcing a one-dimensional, economistic language of cultural and public policy that offers limited progressive intellectual or political resources for cultural policy today. In response we will outline some key areas where new thinking might be undertaken and from which UNESCO might offer new resources and framings for global cultural policy. We argue less for ‘ripping it up and starting again’ and more for the need to critically take stock and explore new ways forward in the search for progressive responses to the current conjuncture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-23
Number of pages16
JournalThe Journal of Law, Social Justice and Global Development
Volume24
Early online date18 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions
  • Globalisation
  • Neoliberalism
  • Creative Industries
  • Cultural Polic
  • Culture and Development

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