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Culturelink review, no.31/August 2000 - contents - imprint - archive

Investing in Culture in the Central Asian Republics

Studies and Reports, Section on Cultural Research and Management
Paris, UNESCO, CLT/CPD/CRM, 1999, 95 pp.

The UNESCO Report Investing in Culture in the Central Asian Republics is the product of a conference held in Tashkent from 8 to 12 September 1997, dealing with the financing of culture and cultural policy in Central Asia and the needs of artists and cultural specialists in the region.

The Report contains the opening address and two keynote speeches, followed by the contributions of the participating countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The country papers are the result of the round table discussions and present the (then) current state of financing culture and the changes which evolved in the countries of the region over the past few years. Some of the country papers also propose recommendations for future joint activities.

The areas for possible future joint work of the countries in the region are identified and elaborated in the form of specific recommendations at the end of the Report.

To obtain the Report, please contact: UNESCO, CLT/CPD/CRM, 1, rue Miollis, F-75352 Paris Cedex, France, tel.: +33 (0)1 45 68 43 31; fax: +33 (0)1 45 68 55 91; e-mail: m.kovacs@unesco.org

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Governance of Cultural Diversity

Edited by Janina W. Dacyl and Charles Westin
Stockholm, Swedish National Commission for UNESCO
CEIFO/Stockholm University, 2000, 406 pp.

This volume constitutes a selection of essays on the cultural diversity creation and dynamics, diversity perception and categorisation, and multiculturalism, diversity management and governance. The choice for the title of the volume is explained by the editor (J.W. Dacyl) as an outcome of the critical debates in the 1990s over the term 'multiculturalism', which is ambiguous (and is dealt with as a separate discourse in this volume), and its substitution with a more action-oriented terms, such as 'management', 'governance'. The latter designate the ways in which cultural plurality is handled in different countries. The concepts of 'management' and 'governance' are addressed in greater detail in the last sections of the book from the viewpoints of the constitutional and legal approaches to racial classification, of the optimality in cultural economy (F. Grin), and of designing a non-Eurocentric cultural education (J. S. Gundarra).

The first section includes essays on the topics of change in the notion of European citizenship under the influence of migration (C.W. de Wended); chain migration and opportunity hoarding on the basis of ethnic categorisation (C. Tilly); the on-going cultural transformation in terms of McDonaldisation and societal opening in the case of Poland (K. Romaniszyn); and cultural pluralism in Japan produced by the rising numbers of immigrants, mostly foreign workers (Atsushi K.).

The second group of the essays presents a review of the logic of the international protection categories for refugees, in which states preserve their own national interests (J.W. Dacyl); a conceptual framework of the perception of the 'other' in the public, private and semi-private spaces (L. Ahnstrøm); and an account of the minority ethnic viewers of television in Britain, as they respond, yet differently, to the TV-images of races that are mainly portrayed stereotypically.

The last section, besides the above mentioned three essays on cultural diversity management and governance, consists of two essays on multiculturalism. One essay is on Australia, notably the evolving policy of multiculturalism in the light of the understanding of the Australian democracy as an order of both individual freedom (political pole) and communitarian justice (multicultural pole) (J. Atchison). The other essay deals with the Canadian context, and more specifically with the social-psychological consequences of the policy of multiculturalism, whereby the promotion of non-ethnocentric pride in one's own group is seen as the most positive psychological quality of acculturation and inter-cultural relations (J.W. Berry).

The volume is a collection of essays on a number of issues that far surpass the topic of cultural governance. Its strength lies, however, in individual contributions. Among the authors, who apply their own frameworks to the issue of cultural diversity, there are theorists of race and ethnic relations of world repute. This fact alone might raise the interest for the volume. The other authors provide informed and provocative insights into the dynamics of cultural diversity in particular countries. These two components of the volume make it a valuable resource for cultural and cultural policy researchers.

The book may be purchased from: CEIFO, University of Stockholm, S-106 91, Stockholm, Sweden, tel.: 46 8 16 26 91; fax: 46 8 15 67 20; e-mail to the editors: Janina.Dacyl@ceifo.su.se, Charles.Westin@ceifo.su.se; http://www.ceifo.su.se