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Global cultural governance by Investment Arbitral Tribunals: the making of a Lex Administrativa Culturalis

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>23/04/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Boston University International Law Journal
Volume33
Number of pages38
Pages (from-to)101–138
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The protection of cultural heritage is a fundamental public interest, closely connected to fundamental human rights and deemed to be among the best guarantees of international peace and security. Economic globalization has spurred a more intense dialogue and interaction among nations, potentially promoting cultural diversity. However, this phenomenon may also jeopardize cultural heritage. Foreign direct investments in the extraction of natural resources have the ultimate capacity to change cultural landscapes and erase memories. Foreign investment in cultural industries can induce cultural homogenization. However, international investment law constitutes a legally binding and highly effective regime that requires that states promote and facilitate foreign direct investment. Does the existing legal framework adequately protect cultural heritage vis-à-vis economic globalization? This Article investigates the distinct interplay between the promotion of foreign direct investment and the protection of cultural heritage in international law, addressing the question of whether a lex administrativa culturalis, or cultural administrative law, has emerged. In particular, this Article questions whether international investment law and arbitration can be a tool for enforcing international cultural law and whether arbitral tribunals can promote good and effective cultural governance.