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UNESCO, Cultural Industries and the International Development Agenda : Between Modest Recognition and Reluctance


Chapter 2 in Contemporary perspectives on Art and International Development

This chapter analyses the policy process and the context through which the international agenda regarding the cultural industries/development nexus was formulated. It focuses on the political pathways through which UNESCO’s broader agenda on culture and development first emerged, and the place of cultural industries within that. It also explores the reasons for the continued marginalisation of the cultural industries, despite their economic and symbolic importance, within international cooperation for development, and questions why the cultural sector—including the cultural industries—remains the ‘Cinderella’ in international development. To this end, the chapter identifies three contributing factors : the fragmented strategies of UNESCO, the reluctance of developed countries to promote the cultural industries/development nexus on the international stage ; and the relatively weak transnational mobilization of arts NGOs.

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