Lorenzo Casini

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The Legal Globalization of Cultural Property

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Cultural property offers a significant yet ambiguous example of the development of global regulatory regimes beyond the State. On the one hand, traditional international law instruments do not seem to ensure an adequate level of protection for cultural heritage; securing such protection requires procedures, norms, and standards produced by global institutions, both public (such as Unesco) and private (such as the International Council of Museums). On the other hand, a comprehensive global regulatory regime to complement the law of cultural property is still to be achieved. Instead, more regimes are being established, depending on the kind of properties and public interests at stake. Moreover, the huge cultural bias that dominates the debate about cultural property accentuates the "clash of civilizations" that already underlies the debate about global governance. The analysis of the relationship between globalization and cultural property, therefore, sheds light on broader global governance trends and helps highlight the points of weakness and strength in the adoption of administrative law techniques at the global level.

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