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8928 - Precarious Legitimization: Cultural Rights in the Context of Moving Differences

The legitimization of policies and legal frameworks oriented for protecting cultural rights is usually based on the assumption that members of minorities share an ontological identity. Recent studies have questioned this assumption. Theoretically, poststructuralist and postcolonial studies have demonstrated that identity does not represent a pre-political entity. Cultural identifications are constructed dynamically, through negotiations of interests and differences. On the empirical level, scholars have been describing how actors mobilize (or do not mobilize) certain cultural repertoires according to their values, political preferences, and economic strategies  

The paper is divided in theree sections. The first section is dedicated to a theoretical discussion confronting fixed and dynamic concepts of identity and culture. The second part collects some findings extracted from studies about the implementation of rights for indigenous and Afro-descendant populations in Latin America in order to visualize interconnections between law, politics, economic interests, and cultural identifications. In the concluding section, it presents a defence of rights for cultural minorities that is based not on an essentialist concept of identity but on the imperative of compensating abusive power asymmetries.

Keywords: Cultural rights, differences, minorities

Author: Goncalves, Guilherme Leite (Fundacao Getulio Vargas, Germany / Deutschland)
Co-Author: Costa Sérgio ( FU Berlin)

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