Cultural diversity

Publications and Studies

De l’exception à la diversité culturelle

Serge Regourd, La Documentation française, Collection Problèmes politiques et sociaux n° 904, 120 pages, édition 2004, 17 octobre 2004 - 2004/10/17

“Cultural diversity, cultural exception, cultural pluralism, multiculturalism—all these interrelated terms are used over and over by the media, decision makers, and culture professionals to the point that the content, meaning, and issues have become garbled.” In this document presented by Mr. Serge Regourd, professor at Université des sciences sociales de Toulouse 1 and director of Institut du droit de l’espace, des territories et de la communication (I.D.E.T.COM), the author draws distinctions between these various terms. He shows how the debate on cultural exception during GATT (now WTO) trade negotiations and the political willingness of UNESCO to protect the intangible heritage of humankind have culminated in the defence of cultural diversity. While noting questions about the relevance and content of this concept, he focuses on the issues facing national cultural policies confronted with new challenges (the digital revolution, legitimate boundaries of public intervention, and European enlargement). He contends that, faced with the development of a recreation industry and mass culture marked by American hegemony, defending cultural diversity means preserving and promoting cultural expressions judged to be threatened by liberal globalization. He also contends that cultural diversity—promoted by France and the European Union since 1999—should soon find a legal basis in an international agreement now in the planning stage. ( Available in French ) [77]