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Culturelink review, no.26/November 1998 - contents - imprint - archive

Les processus culturels et institutionnels dans le développement

Les cas des petites et micro entreprises au Pérou

Aldo Vallejo, Studies and Reports of the Unit of Cultural Research and Management No. 2, UNESCO, CLT/CIC/CRM, 1998, 113 pp.

The theory of development in the 90s has been marked by the ideological triumph of orthodox economic liberalism. The changes in international relationships (end of bi-polarity), globalisation and mondialisation of economy have reinforced the orthodox market analysis which aims more at reducing macroeconomic imbalances than at inducing real development. On the contrary, the reverse effects are visible. Neo-liberalism, surpassed by social demand, has resulted in increasing poverty, social inequalities and unemployment.

The aim of the present study is to establish the theoretical elements from different pluridisciplinary economic approaches which clarify the crucial role that the extra-market processes can play in development.

The first part of the study gives a brief analysis of the heterodox traditional theories, which attempted to provide a basis for an alternative model of development. Although integrating some extra-market parameters, these models, based on dichotomy and deterministic concepts, were condemned to failure and, consequently, had to be abandoned.

Further, the author analyses the cultural dimension of development and demonstrates the impact of extra-economic phenomena, such as confidence, family, reciprocity, morality, religion, and other values profoundly anchored in the identity of communities, spatially and temporally defined. These elements could be considered as institutions that evolve thanks to the initiatives of individuals in society. The extra-economic elements stimulate the processes of change through hybridisation and syncretism between tradition and modernity, individual and community, and, above all, through the articulation of market and extra-market elements.

In the second part, in order to illustrate this type of endogenous dynamics, Vallejo discusses the emergence of an informal sector of small and micro enterprises in Peru. The migrations of the rural population towards urban centers have profoundly modified the society, politics and economy of the country. Since the state and the 'formal' structures were not capable of providing adequate means for the integration of the new Andean population, they started to generate another, parallel type of economy based on the hybridization and syncretism of the traditional and the so-called Western values. These alliances created micro-entrepreneurial dynamics resulting in prosperous industrial districts in which socio-cultural identity is essential.

The study of these dynamic entities has become an essential ingredient of all efforts to encourage processes of development in Peru. In a larger context, it demonstrates the existence of alternatives to the predominant neo-liberal concept of development.

Contact: UNESCO, CLT/CIC/CRM; 1, rue Miollis, F-75352 Paris Cedex 15, France, tel.: +33 1 45 68 44 30; fax: +33 1 45 68 55 91; e-mail: m.kovacs@unesco.org

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Culture, développement économique et Tiers monde

Iulia Nechifor, Studies and Reports of the Unit of Cultural Research and Management No. 6, UNESCO, CLT/CIC/CRM, 1998, 81 pp.

The crises which both the industrialised and the Third World are currently going through confront us with the need to revise the development concept and take into consideration the complexity of interactive factors in development processes. The importance of the cultural dimension in development is beginning to be recognised as essential, at least on an international level, particularly through bilateral and multilateral agencies engaged in projects of elaborating development strategies and policies.

In this perspective, the first part of this study is a reflection on the role of culture in development and the importance of integration of cultural parameters in development strategies. Further, the impact of economic development on the local cultural specificity is discussed, with an emphasis on issues such as cultural shock and its consequences, ambiguities in the relations between countries which are actors of development and countries which receive aid, and the consequent limitations of existing models of development.

The second part follows the evolution of the progressive integration of culture into the framework of various development projects, elaborated by international and regional organisations. The cultural approach in the programme of international institutions, other agencies for co-operation, and non-governmental organisations is followed by a presentation of the bodies that finance development projects.

An important part of the study is devoted to the prospects and proposals regarding future development strategies. The author concludes that in these circumstances development should be based upon an integral, endogenous approach, founded on the participation and effective co-operation of local populations and a real adaptation to the diversity and creativity of cultures. This multiplicity of situations cannot result in a unique model of development, but each solution has to be compatible with the socio-cultural environment in question.

To obtain the study, please contact: UNESCO, 1, rue Miollis, F-75352 Paris Cedex 15, France, tel.: +33 1 45 68 44 30; fax: +33 1 45 68 55 91; e-mail: m.kovacs@unesco.org

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Workshop on Curriculum Development on Culture and Development

Synthetic report, UNESCO, Pan African Association of Anthropologists (PAAA) PAAA/ICASSRT Report 15/1997, 32 pp.

The workshop on Curriculum Development on Culture and Development, organised by the Pan African Association of Anthropologists in collaboration with the African Itinerant College for Culture and Development, was held in Bameda, Cameroon, in July 1997. The synthetic report presents an overview of the workshop's objectives and outcomes, summary presentations by the participants, and relevant discussions, recommendations and conclusions, general evaluation of the workshop and its financial report.

The expected outcome of the workshop was a draft curriculum and course outlines and a training programme on culture and development in Africa, together with strategies to be pursued for its execution. The overall conclusion was that the production of a resource book and course outline on culture and development should be undertaken by African scholars themselves, in order to define a clear vision as to how the development process was to proceed in the twenty-first century.

The annex comprises the reports of the working groups on follow-up activities, on course format and on theoretical issues and resource material, as well as a list of resource experts for curriculum and course outlines, the list of participants, and the agenda of the workshop.

To obtain the report, please contact: UNESCO, 1, rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France, tel.: +33 1 45 68 43 01; fax: +33 1 43 06 73 67.

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Dire la tolérance

UNESCO - Praxiling, Paris, 1997, 73 pp.

At the initiative of the Section des identités culturelles et échanges interculturels, UNESCO's Division of Cultural Pluralism has published Dire la tolérance, a document prepared within the International Year for Tolerance, exploring from a linguistic viewpoint how tolerance is expressed at different times in different cultures, with the aim to further develop the respect for mutual comprehension. The particular sociolinguistic meanings and various ethnic, religious and social connotations of the term tolerance in Egyptian, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Romance languages, Spanish, French, English, Russian, Arabic, Hindu, Chinese, etc. are presented, giving a specific analysis of the characterisation of the term, the circumstances of its appearance, its evolution, its usage and social circulation in different regions of the world.

Address: UNESCO, 1, rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France, tel.: (33 1) 45 68 43 03; fax: (33 1) 45 68 55 97; e-mail: k.stenou@unesco.org

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Forum UNESCO: University and Heritage

Report from Melbourne

Forum UNESCO is a worldwide network of universities involved in teaching, research and consulting in the cultural heritage field. The two previous international meetings were in Valencia, Spain (1996), and Quebec City, Canada (1997). This year the Forum conference took place at the historically significant Toorak and Woolstores campuses of Deakin and the Melbourne Town Hall, 4-8 October 1998. The Forum was focused geographically on the Asia-Pacific Region and gathered 160 participants coming from 46 countries.

The main theme of the Forum conference this year was the development of international cooperative projects designed to protect, record and interpret cultural heritage sites, monuments, movable heritage artefacts and intangible heritage elements such as oral history and traditional music and dance. The Forum concluded with the signing of the 'Declaration of Melbourne' that expresses the determination of those present to strengthen the commitment to work for the adoption and implementation of national laws that protect cultural heritage and to intensify projects for the preservation of heritage.

The Declaration also signals the commitment by Deakin University to establish a regional centre for cultural heritage conservation education. Deakin University will also seek the creation of a UNESCO chair in cultural heritage studies with a special emphasis on the management of conflicts between heritage protection and development in countries undergoing rapid urbanisation.

Appended to the Declaration is a list of 20 cooperative projects proposed by the Forum participants. Of these, 10 projects are in the Asia-Pacific region, 3 in the Middle East, 2 in Africa, 2 in South America, 1 in North America and 1 in Europe.

The Declaration approves the city of Fes in Morocco as the location of the Fourth International Forum UNESCO Conference in 1999.

For more information, please contact: Professor William Logan, Chair, Organising Committee, Third International Forum UNESCO, Research Director, Faculty of Arts, Deakin University, Burwood Highway, Burwood Victoria 3125, Australia, tel.: (61-3) 9244-3904; fax: (61-3) 9244-3905; e-mail: wl@deakin.edu.au