Cultural diversity

Publications and Studies

Cultural Policy Trends and Challenges: Analysis and First-Person Accounts

Presses de l’Université Laval has announced the January publication of Tendances et défis des politiques culturelles. Analyses et témoignages. The publisher describes the book as follows:

“Various factors are forcing Western countries to update their principles of intervention and public action in the area of culture.

“This book stems from the International Symposium on Cultural Policy Trends and Challenges in Western Countries(Québec City, 2008) and reflects on the role and capacity for action of nation states and local, regional, and transregional territories when faced with problems that go beyond their traditional remit. Its authors examine areas such as cultural diversity; intellectual property; interculturalism; action by regions and cities; the growing overlap of social, economic, environmental, and cultural problems; the merits of artistic primacy and the democratization of culture; the emergence of new modes of culture governance; and the intersecting of levels of government intervention and systems of actors.”

The 256 page book was published under the leadership of Claudine Audet, a research fellow at Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine du Québec, and Diane St-Pierre, a professor at Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) who is also responsible for cultural policy at the Fernand-Dumont Chair on Culture.

One of the publication’s fourteen texts is devoted to the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, which is analyzed by Professor Ivan Bernier from a legal standpoint. “The Convention isn’t examined from the point of view of international trade law—which is more common, especially WTO law—but from an entirely cultural standpoint. The author examines the Convention’s objective and scope, i.e., its ‘specificity as an international cultural instrument.’ He goes on to outline its action plan or ‘how it proposes to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions’ before setting out the approach to adopt in cases where the Convention conflicts with other international treaties, especially trade treaties,” notes the introduction to the book.