The Cultural Turn in International Aid : Impacts and Challenges for Heritage and the Creative Industries book cover
1st Edition

The Cultural Turn in International Aid
Impacts and Challenges for Heritage and the Creative Industries

Edited By

Sophia Labadi

ISBN 9781351208598
Published September 12, 2019 by Routledge
280 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Cultural Turn in International Aid is one of the first volumes to analyse a wide and comprehensive range of issues related to culture and international aid in a critical and constructive manner. Assessing why international aid is provided for cultural projects, rather than for other causes, the book also considers whether and how donor funded cultural projects can address global challenges, including post-conflict recovery, building peace and security, strengthening resilience, or promoting human rights.

With contributions from experts around the globe, this volume critically assesses the impact of international aid, including the diverse power relations and inequalities it creates, and the interests it serves at international, national and local levels. The book also considers projects that have failed and analyses the reasons for their failure, drawing out lessons learnt and considering what could be done better in the future. Contributors to the volume also consider the influence of donors in privileging some forms of culture over others, creating or maintaining specific memories, identities, and interpretations of history, and their reasons for doing so. These rich discussions are contextualised through a historical section, which considers the definitions, approaches and discourses related to culture and aid at international and regional levels.

Providing consideration of manifold manifestations of culture, The Cultural Turn in International Aid will be of great interest to scholars, students and practitioners. It will be particularly useful for those engaged in the study of heritage, anthropology, international aid and development, international relations, humanitarian studies, community development, cultural studies, politics or sociology.

Table of Contents

1. The Cultural Turn in International Aid? Setting the Scene

Part I: Definitions, approaches and discourses: International and regional perspectives

2. Creative Economy and Development: International Institution’s Perspectives

3. Culture in EU International Relations: between Discourse and Practice

4. Heritage Development: Culture and Heritage at the World Bank

5. UNESCO, Culture, Aid and Development in the New Millennium

Part II: National Policies and Ethnographies of International Aid for Culture

6. Whose tool for what purpose? The struggle for cultural industry infrastructure in Liberia

7. Behind the Facade of the Diplomacy of International Culture Aid

8. Life and Death of a Community Library: A Case Study in Micro-Development

9. Traditional Performing Arts Under the Influence of NGOs: Myth or Reality?

10. Blowing Hot and Cold: Culture-Related Activities in the Deployment of Australia’s Soft Power In Asia

Part III: Donors funded Cultural Projects and Global Challenges

11. Reconciliation through cultural heritage in the post-Yugoslav space: an apolitical endeavour

12. Reducing Disaster Vulnerability through Local Knowledge and Capacity

13. Heritage, Human Rights and Norwegian development collaboration: The Our Common Dignity Initiative and World Heritage

14. Clowns in Crisis Zones: the Evolution of Clowns without Borders International

Part IV: Conclusions

15. The Future of International Aid for Cultural Projects.



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Sophia Labadi is Senior Lecturer and co-Director of the Centre for Heritage at the University of Kent in the UK.