This issue is of particular interest due to the opening article by Acheson and Maule on the planned International Convention on Cultural Diversity. Although the authors base their analysis on the 2003 draft Convention on Cultural Diversity proposed by the International Network of Cultural Policy (INCP), their criticism can also be applied to the planned UNESCO Convention which is currently in drafting process. They argue that such an international instrument is bound to fail, because it cannot enforce the international rules it proclaims due to the lack of a dispute settlement mechanism, and that a credible solution to the trade and culture dilemma can only be found within the WTO system (see also the abstract in the New Acquisitions March 2005).
The issue also include three comments on this article by Acheson and Maule: Van der Ploeg, former Dutch Minister of culture, argues that promotion of cultural diversity is rather achieved through support to minority cultures than through protectionist measures. The French economist Benhamou shares many of the views of Acheson and Maule, adding some research insights from the links between diversity offer and consumption, but points out that even if simply a declaratory text, a convention on cultural diversity would be useful for reasserting the status and the treatment of cultural goods. On a similar note, Iaparde, discusses a variety of awareness-raising functions of the new convention such as the statement of cultural rights.
To view the publisher's online table of contents with abstracts, please click on this external link.
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