Regional Cooperation in the Area of Culture: The Promotion of Human Security and Development
The paper examines the relationships between culture and regional cooperation/integration and their implications for human security and development. While culture can be the content of regional cooperation, regional cooperation and integration entail flows of people, often in the form of (im)migration. While some (im)migration policies and other policy documents assume that such increased contact between peoples of different cultures will facilitate peaceful relations, research shows that increased contact can also lead to conflict. The paper explores ways in which cultural exchanges through regional cooperation can facilitate peace, rather than foment conflict. Regional cooperation has great potential to support human and economic development, as well as enrich cultural diversity. While protectionist measures risk impeding these advantages, other measures, such as subsidies for cultural programmes and directives requiring variation in cultural programming, are more likely to enhance cultural diversity. Policy recommendations are proposed to facilitate peaceful relations between diverse cultures, enhance intra-ACP cultural industries and cooperation, and promote cultural diversity.