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Globalization, Cultural Diversity and the Commons: Remarks by David Bollier

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Bollier, David
Conference: UNESCO and Cultural Policymaking: Imperatives for U.S. Arts and Culture Practitioners and Organizations
Location: Washington, DC
Conf. Date: January 11, 2005
Date: 2005
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/4959
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
Global Commons
Subject(s): globalization
indigenous knowledge
global commons
governance and politics
Abstract: From p. 1: "If the advocates of cultural diversity hope to take our message to the mainstream, I believe our biggest challenge is to develop a more compelling grand narrative for explaining how cultural diversity originates, why it is important and how it can be sustained. In global trade circles, the prevailing story for talking about culture is the story of the market. 'Globalization' is all about expanding the governance rules of markets to all corners of the globe. It is about subjecting social relations and resource management to a matrix of property rights, contracts and market exchange. According to this mainstream story, 'value' is created by enclosing something in an envelope of private property rights, and through contracts to buy and sell those rights for money. This will result in robust markets and 'development.' According to the market story, this is how 'value' is created – with 'value' serving as a synonym for 'money.' But we all know, at a certain level, that the real value of the arts, culture and civic life cannot be expressed through any economic measurement. What is the value of indigenous artwork? What is the value of ethnobotanical knowledge? What about Native American folk stories or traditional designs?"

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