Development and Culture: Global-Local Negotiations


Development has to be understood holistically. It is very closely connected to culture, which of course is very difficult to define. Cultural factors have powerfully affected the pace of development. Some of them are: Religion, history, language, traditions, system of values, artistic, social, economic and political norms, and a nation’s size.We begin with the status of culture in the international development paradigm. Then the paper will examine the relationship between culture and sustainable development going on to reflect the importance of culture in environmental sustainability. Next the paper will deal with the role of culture for peace and reconciliation because only when there is peace there can be proper development. Surely, development can also ensure peace to some extent. There are many avoidable myths about culture in relation to development: One of the main myths is that an emphasis on cultural difference and the continuity of traditions could lead to social and political conflicts, be incompatible with human rights, affecting governance and development. This is far from the truth. This takes us to a consideration of the relationship of culture of indigenous communities and their development. In this context it is also important to consider culture in relation to the Post-2015 Development Agenda. In the media mediated society in which we live today culture is definitely influenced by the media resulting in what is called ‘media-culture’, which leads to a unique kind of development. Not everyone endorses the development model promoted by the media.

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