Cultural diversity

Publications and Studies

Pour une refondation du concept de diversité culturelle

François de Bernard – 17 mars 2003 – 2003/03/17

Faced with the increasing verbiage associated with cultural diversity, François de Bernard deems it “indispensable to remake cultural diversity into a concept, and to restore its rightful dignity and worth, resolutely anchored in its contemporary horizons.” The author defines cultural diversity with five words and maintains "that using these five points of reference, and the light that together they cast, a useful and relevant redefinition may emerge.” Thus, cultural diversity is in turn diverse, cultural, and dynamic. It is both a response and an enterprise. First, a theoretical enterprise, then a legal one. In this regard, the author notes that even though the idea of a “legal instrument” capable of representing  cultural diversity objectives in commercial and international legal negotiations was quick to emerge, it is much more a matter of remaking and consolidating the link between disciplinary approaches that have ignored each other or grown scattered, and of bringing them together to develop a general corpus of cultural diversity capable of meeting the demands of today’s multilateral diplomatic and trading scene. The author also declares that cultural diversity is a political enterprise. Affirming , among other things, that a “policy of cultural diversity” was improvised before its legal and philosophical foundations were even properly debated, the author wonders whether cultural diversity can “grow into the authentic political enterprise it cannot help being, in order to reaffirm and reiterate the irreducibility of the educational, linguistic, and cultural domain to realm of mere trading goods and impose a perennial exemption from the norms of commercial law—in short, in order to reply blow for blow to the strategy unlimited domination by ‘major’ private companies with a strategy for the unreserved domination of the general and public interest.” (Available in French and English only)