By Janet Blake
ISBN: 9781903987346 | 343 pages | published 2014
This volume aims to introduce cultural rights and cultural diversity to a non-legal audience as well as to legal and human rights specialists who may not be very familiar with this area of law – which has been termed the ‘Cinderella’ of the human rights family. Cultural rights and the associated notion of cultural diversity are under-conceptualised from a theoretical viewpoint and poorly understood by governments and rights-holders and thus not implemented as well as they might be. It is therefore necessary to specify clearly the content, and scope of these rights and their relationship to other human rights as well as the various domains in which they are important.
Underlying this work is the belief that cultural rights and cultural diversity are increasingly implicated in important areas of policy and legal development and so need to be better understood by governments, governmental authorities, cultural specialists and the rights-holders themselves. Over recent years, the subject of cultural rights has expanded greatly, from that of a national culture available to all citizens to the non-material elements of heritage which, in turn, involves the idea of active public participation in the decision-making process and of citizens being able to contribute actively to their culture. As a result, there is increasing demand for better promotion and protection of cultural rights as an integral part of human rights.
The book is divided into two parts. The first section sets out the broader context in which cultural rights and diversity operate, and examines in detail the concept of cultural diversity and its applications, introducing the potential scope for and content of cultural rights and specific challenges they pose to human rights theory. The second section includes in summary form various texts (treaties, other legal instruments and political texts) relevant to cultural rights and cultural diversity. This volume therefore provides the reader with a detailed discussion of cultural rights and diversity combined with the main legal and political primary sources supporting it.