Trade and Culture
Christoph B. Graber
University of Zurich, Faculty of Law
August 25, 2010
THE MAX PLANCK ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW, Rüdiger Wolfrum, ed., Oxford University Press, 2010
Issues between international trade and culture have existed since the end of World War I, when European countries introduced screen quotas to limit the effects of the ever-rising surge of films from the US. When states protect their culture-related industries they usually do so claiming the need to shield their culture from being subsumed by Hollywood. However, such protectionist measures are contrary to the general trend to liberalise trade. Furthermore, countries such as the US argue that they are merely economic protectionist mechanisms, disguised under the cultural discourse. This chapter discusses the history of the conflict between trade and the protection of culture, the trade of culture under the WTO (particularly under GATT and GATS), the impact of the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity on the discussion, and how these agreements could better serve to address cultural issues or values. The chapter reflects on effects of digital technology and the internet, which have fundamentally altered the way cultural content is created, disseminated, accessed and enjoyed.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 8
Keywords: International Trade, Culture, Cultural Diversity, Film Industry, Screen Quotas, Audiovisual Media, WTO, GATT, GATS, UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity
JEL Classification: K29, K33
Date posted: August 25, 2010
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