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Culturelink Joint Publications Series

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Dynamics of Communication: New Ways and New Actors


The ten-year period between the First World Culturelink Conference held in June 1995 and the Second World Culturelink Conference held in June 2005, was characterized by ever more rapid and important changes introduced by and developed through the globalization processes in the field of culture. These changes, influenced especially by the development of new information and communication technologies, affect the very ways of communication. New ways and new actors of global communication as well as new possibilities of networking and the role of networks in promoting intercultural dialogue in the 21st century are examined in this book which presents the contributions of 50 experts from Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas and Australia, representing different international and national associations, universities, cultural institutions, and other organizations.

We live in societies which are, or are increasingly becoming multicultural. The challenge of multiculturalism/interculturalism requires growing efforts in international cultural communication/cooperation and intercultural competence. This concerns especially new tasks and roles of cultural policies in the processes of decentralization and regionalization of cultural development and cultural life. As the role of the national state diminishes, local authorities and professional organizations take over new tasks and functions in cultural policies and cultural development. It is necessary to start developing cultural policies as shared policies, implying state and private sectors, and civil society. This dialogue and partnership among the public and the private sector and civil society in the process of reshaping public cultural policies is needed in order to establish flexible and open approaches to cooperation.

We also live in a time in which the spread of information is faster than the analysis of its cultural and social impact. Digital cultures, spreading from technological backgrounds, concentrate on communication as the strategic input of cultural development. They produce new changes: digital cultures are cultures of users, and at the same time, they produce different digitalized art forms. Cultural policies, however, do not fully recognize these new digital forms and the newly emerging trends they set. Paralleling the acknowledgment of new actors in the processes of cultural development, new types and areas of artistic and cultural creativity should be better integrated into cultural policies.

Part one and two of this volume are dedicated to globalization processes, their consequences and the redefined roles of all actors involved in the cultural field (the role of the state, of local communities, professional organizations, etc.). Cultural policies and developing partnerships with civil society and the private sector are analyzed. The topics of part three comprise cultural diversity especially with a view to Unesco's Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions the path of multiculturalism/interculturalism and new cultural identities. Part four is devoted to the new ways of communication and cooperation, to cultural networks and digital culture, and the uneven global spread of digitization, while part five describes some relevant cultural networks' projects in the making.

This book identifies the new tasks and changing roles of cultural policies related to cultural diversity and the newly emerging digital cultures, and calls attention to the impressive phenomenon of new ways and new actors in communication all of which announces a restructuring of the global cultural space. The interconnection of cultural diversity, intercultural communication and digital culture expresses new approaches to and prospects for cultural development and international cultural cooperation.

The First World Culturelink Conference resulted in intensified international research activities in the field of cultural policies and led to the perception of a distinct 'Zagreb school of cultural policy research'. May the Second World Culturelink Conference and this book, with its wealth of contributions from a large number of experts, result in intensified international research into the interconnectedness of the three most important phenomena of today's world cultural diversity, intercultural communication and digital culture and contribute to the creation of what we have termed un monde meilleur.

The Editor


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