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Producing Cultural Diversity

Hegemonic Knowledge in Global Governance Projects

How did cultural diversity become a buzzword fraught with tension? And what do the controversies surrounding it reveal about contemporary policy making? Producing Cultural Diversity investigates these questions through an empirical analysis of the negotiations that produced the recent UNESCO convention on cultural diversity. Taking an ethnographic approach, Ulrike Niedner-Kalthoff highlights how officials first framed the policy issue of cultural diversity and then negotiated an authoritative text, mobilized support, and organized legitimate representation. A significant contribution to the anthropology of contemporary statehood and global governance, this book will be a valuable resource for scholars and practitioners of international relations.

245 pages | 1 color plate | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2015

Sociology: Individual, State and Society

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1
Introduction: Culture and Governance
The Case of the Convention
Global Governance
The Convention and Neoliberalism
Challenges and Strategies
Empirical Research

Chapter 2
Construction: Framing the Issue of “Cultural Diversity”
A Genealogy of the Convention Process
Framing the Convention
The UNESCO Frame: the Imperilment of Identity, Values, and Meaning
The US Frame: “This Convention is Actually about Trade”
The INCD Frame: “The Right of States to Do Whatever They Want”
Agendas and Tensions
Culture and Cultures

Chapter 3
Negotiation: Diplomatic Build-Up and Showdown
Structure of the Negotiations
The Key Conflicts
Blackboxing Cultural Diversity
Culmination of the Conflict
The Great Debate
Making Sense of the Great Debate
Summing It Up

Chapter 4
Mobilization: Cultural Diversity as an Empty Signifier
The Coalitions for Cultural Diversity
Unspecific Aims
To Commit or Not to Commit
Pure Communitarian Being
Cultural Diversity is Us

Chapter 5
Representation: Speaking for Others—Doing Cultural Diversity
Reenactment—Representation Taken for Granted
Complex Individuals—Simple Collectivities
Representation Contested—Assembling the World in a Nutshell
Honoring “the International Regions”
Representing/Performing Cultural Diversity
Concluding Remarks

Chapter 6
Conclusion: Globalization and Anti-Globalization
Looking Back in Detail: Producing/Practicing “Cultural Diversity”
Globalization, Anti-Globalization, and the National Frame
List of Abbreviations

Works Cited
Institutional Documents


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