A cultural based-approach to development : a review of norwegian public and foreign policy, and the role of cultural development in bids to promote socio-political stability and sustainable development in Northern Uganda.
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This thesis reviews how culture as a concept has evolved in international human rights law and development policy since WWII, and reviews key strengths and challenges in reframing development initiatives in terms of cultural considerations – so-called cultural-based approaches to development. Moreover, the study discusses the use of culture as a concept and framework in Norwegian public and foreign policy, in light of a project undertaken by the Norwegian Directorate of Cultural Heritage (NDCH) and the National Museum in Uganda (NMU) in northern Uganda in the period 2009-2013. The NDCH-NMU case illustrates challenges concerning the political dimension of a cultural-based approach, but also the opportunities relating to a deeper human rights dialogue at the local, national and international levels. I argue that although there is a greater need to understand inherent tensions relating to questions of power in ‘culture’, ‘development’ and ‘human rights’ in policy, a greater interlinking of culture, human rights and development translates to a greater consideration for the specific material and cultural preconditions in a society. This will shift the focus away from donor preferences, and create development interventions that are more relevant for recipient communities and less paternalistic in their planning and implementation. The thesis uses a combination of document analysis, semi-structured interviews and academic texts.