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The Strength of Culture for Development

Why Culture Matters in International Cooperation


Edited By Pascaline Gaborit

On the global scale, the challenges surrounding development are massive and complex, as inequalities in living conditions between the richest and poorest countries become greater. Development is a global challenge on a par with the financial crisis and environmental concerns. The participation of local communities and towns in development programmes may result from a desire for influence at an international level, rather than the idea that they can bring some measure of stability, like the large NGOs.
In this context, culture remains an omnipresent factor. Indeed, culture takes on a multifaceted front for it is not solely limited to the organisation of cultural activities or the protection of heritage, but also about the values, significance, and everyday actions of human communities. It contributes to the well-being of local populations. Using culture as a transversal tool to solve the development issues means tackling those issues from a different angle: bringing solutions to some multicultural questions that exist in rich countries.
This book brings together a selection of articles by researchers and experts in this area from a wide variety of backgrounds, disciplines and countries.
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European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism, Sport, Media and Youth – 2010-2014

Culture is the internal force that drives a society forward. It preserves values and traditions. It can rise above prejudices and unite us.

Indeed, this is the essence of the European integration project – a commitment to a Europe that is open to the world, respectful of cultural diversity and whose people share common values such as tolerance, solidarity, respect for diversity and human rights.

That is why the European Union is not just about market forces and economics. It’s also about celebrating the diversity of national cultures, nurturing a shared cultural identity and projecting these values in our links with the wider world.

Culture can make a vital contribution to our economic, political and social development. It also has an exceptional potential as a driver for creativity and innovation and generates positive spill-over effects on to other sectors of the economy such as tourism, ICTs and the Internet.

Calls to integrate culture in sustainable development have multiplied in recent years. But the need to include culture in development policy is ← 9 | 10 → still not fully recognised or tends to be forgotten. We therefore have to continue our efforts to change this.

For this reason, I welcome publications like this one on “The Strength of Culture for Development”. The articles and interviews you will find here help to drive home the message...

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