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Convention on Cultural Diversity

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  • Keith Acheson
  • Christopher Maule

Abstract

UNESCO has given its Director General a mandate to draft a convention on protecting the diversity of cultural contents and artistic expressions by the fall of 2005. Proponents of the convention view commitments made by countries in trade agreements as weakening their ability to preserve and promote cultural diversity. We review the existing draft wording for a convention, developed before the official involvement of UNESCO, by the INCP, an association representing cultural ministries in favour of insulating their cultural policies from liberalization, and conclude that it fails to meet the necessary conditions for an enforceable rules-based international agreement. In the INCP text, countries are given rights to introduce policies that promote a self-defined cultural diversity. The only obligation is to balance their interests with those of others. No standard of adjudication for balance is offered nor any effective dispute resolution mechanism developed. The ultimate purpose of the initiative may be to form a negotiating bloc within the WTO, but the disparate interests of its members and the lack of tangible benefits from the Convention reduce the credibility of bargaining solidarity. In contrast, the WTO provides a flexible and effective forum for negotiating maintenance of current policy options at a cost of making concessions in other sectors. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10824-004-3587-9
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Cultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 28 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 243-256

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jculte:v:28:y:2004:i:4:p:243-256

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100284

Related research

Keywords: cultural activities; cultural diversity; cultural industries; INCP; trade;

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References

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  1. Francois, Patrick & van Ypersele, Tanguy, 2002. "On the protection of cultural goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 359-369, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Frederick Ploeg, 2004. "Comment," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 257-261, November.
  2. Cecile Aubert & Pranab K. Bardhan & Jeff Dayton-Johnson, 2004. "Artfilms, Handicrafts and Other Cultural Goods: The Case for Subsidy," Public Economics 0407001, EconWPA.
  3. Françoise Benhamou & Stéphanie Peltier, 2007. "How should cultural diversity be measured? An application using the French publishing industry," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 85-107, June.
  4. Lelio Iapadre, 2004. "Comment," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 267-273, November.

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