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Culturelink Joint Publications Series

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UNESCO's Convention on the Protection and the Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions: Making it Work

Edited by Nina Obuljen and Joost Smiers
Culturelink Joint Publications Series No. 9, Institute for International Relations, Zagreb, 2006, 402 pp., ISBN 953-6096-40-4, 29


On 20 October 2005, the General Conference of UNESCO adopted the Convention on the Protection and the Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. It is designed to give states the possibility to take those measures they deem necessary for the protection and the promotion of the flourishing of the diversity of artistic expressions. One of the purposes of the Convention is to prevent cultural life from being dominated by only a few players and to give consumers the possibility to choose from the wide range of expressions that artists create and perform.

This international legally binding instrument cannot remove all threats to cultural diversity; the future will bring new challenges, both in the old media and the new digital world. Therefore, one will see described in the different chapters some of the huge pitfalls that lie ahead. However, the Convention and the struggle for cultural diversity on the theoretical level and in daily practice are extraordinarily valuable for those who do not want to live in a world where state censorship is supplanted by monopoly control of the media and cultural industries.

This book provides the history behind the adoption of the Convention, analyses its legal value and potential impact, and tries to envisage the most appropriate strategies for its effective implementation.

The publication entitled UNESCO's Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions: Making It Work is part of the Culturelink Joint Publications Series. As the Culturelink Network carries themes of diversity and policy on diversity at the core of its mission and research work, this book represents an expected outcome of Culturelink's efforts to introduce the latest initiatives on the promotion of cultural diversity to its members and wider audiences. The book thus publishes twenty sholarly articles by an international group of experts (from Europe and Canada to South Africa, Korea, Lebanon and Mexico) on cultural diversity.

The book is edited by Nina Obuljen and Joost Smiers. Ms. Obuljen, Assistant Minister of International Relations and EU Affairs at the Croatian Ministry of Culture, member of the Culturelink Editorial Team, and research fellow at the Institute for International Relations, was Head of the Croatian Delegation at the negotiations for the Convention on the Protection and the Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions at UNESCO. Joost Smiers is professor of political science and Research Fellow in the Research Group Arts & Economics at the Urtrecht School of the Arts, the Netherlands. One of his latest books is Arts under Pressure. Promoting Cultural Diversity in the Age of Globalisation (London 2003, Zed Books).


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