Professor Yudhishthir Raj Isar


Profile photo of Professor Yudhishthir Raj IsarYudhishthir Raj Isar is an independent analyst, advisor and public speaker who straddles different worlds of cultural theory, experience and practice. He is Professor of Cultural Policy Studies at The American University of Paris, and was Eminent Research Visitor at the Institute for Culture and Society from 2011-2013 and Adjunct Professor from 2014-16. He has also been maître de conference at Sciences Po, Paris. In January 2017 he was appointed as the Education Director of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.

Professor Isar was the founding co-editor of the Cultures and Globalization Series (SAGE). He is a trustee of civil society cultural organisations and consultant to international organisations and foundations and Past President of Culture Action Europe. Earlier, at UNESCO, where he served from 1973 to 2002, he was notably Executive Secretary of the World Commission on Culture and Development and Director of the International Fund for the Promotion of Culture.

Qualifications

Formation à la recherche en anthropologie sociale, 1972, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris

Maitrise ès Lettres in Sociology, 1971, University of Paris, Sorbonne

Licence ès Lettres in Sociology, 1970, University of Paris, Sorbonne

BA (Hons) in Economics, St. Stephen's College, Delhi University

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Selected Publications

Books

Ang, I, Isar, YR & Mar, P (eds) 2016, Cultural diplomacy: beyond the national interest?, London, Routledge.

Isar, YR (ed.) 2014, Engaging the world: towards global cultural citizenship, report of Preparatory Action 'Culture in EU External Relations', European Union, Brussels.

Isar, YR (Principal Investigator and lead writer) 2011, United Nations creative economy report 2013: widening local development pathways, UNESCO and UNDP, Paris and New York.

Anheier, HK & Isar, YR (eds) 2012, Cities, cultural policy and governance, Cultures and Globalization Series, SAGE Publications, London.

Anheier, HK & Isar, YR (eds) 2011, Heritage, memory and identity, The Cultures and Globalization Series, SAGE Publications, London.

Anheier, HK & Isar, YR (eds) 2010, Cultural expression, creativity and innovation, The Cultures and Globalization Series, SAGE Publications, London.

Anheier, HK & Isar, YR (eds) 2008, The cultural economy, The Cultures and Globalization Series, SAGE Publications, London & Thousand Oaks.

Anheier, HK & Isar, YR (eds) 2007, Conflicts and tensions, The Cultures and Globalization Series, SAGE Publications, London.

Isar, YR & Ilczuk, D (eds) 2006, Metropolises of Europe: diversity in urban cultural life, CIRCLE, Warsaw.

Isar, YR (ed.) 1986, The challenge to our cultural heritage: why preserve the past?, Smithsonian Press/UNESCO, Washington/Paris.

Book Chapters

Isar, YR (accepted) 2017, 'Cultural policy in India: an oxymoron?' in V Durrer, T Miller & D O'Brien (eds), Routledge companion to cultural policy, Routledge.

Isar, YR 2016, 'Clash of civilisations' and 'culture and development', in AJ Wiesand, K Chainoglu & A Sledzinska-Simon (eds), Culture and human rights: the Wroclaw commentaries, ARCult Media, Berlin, de Gruyter and Cologne.

Isar, YR 2016, 'Inclusive cities', in Culture urban future, global report on culture for sustainable human development, UNESCO Publishing, Paris.

Isar, YR 2015, '"Culture in EU external relations": overcoming stereotypical stances', in R Kusek, J Purchla & J Sanetra-Szeliga (eds), Nations and stereotypes 25 years after, International Cultural Centre, Krakow.

Isar, YR 2015, 'Widening local development pathways: Transformative visions of cultural economy', in K Oakley & J O'Connor (eds), The Routledge companion to the cultural industries, Routledge, Abingdon and New York.

Isar, YR & Pyykkönen, M 2015, 'Confusing culture, polysemous diversity: "culture" and "cultural diversity" in and after the Convention', in C De Beukelaer, M Pyykkönen & JP Singh (eds), Globalization, culture, and development: the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity (opens in a new window), Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Saouma, G & Isar, YR 2015, '"Cultural diversity" at UNESCO: a trajectory', in C De Beukelaer, M Pyykkönen & JP Singh (eds), Globalization, culture, and development: the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity (opens in a new window), Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Isar, YR 2015, 'Widening local development pathways: transformative visions of cultural economy', in K Oakley & J O'Connor (eds), The Routledge companion to the cultural industries (opens in a new window), Routledge.

Isar, YR 2014, 'UNESCO, museums and development', in P Basu & W Modest (eds), Museums, heritage and international development, Routledge.

Isar, YR 2014, 'Further thoughts on the "dwarfing" narrative', in M Cremer & S Mors (eds), The dwarfing of Europe? A dialogue between Brazil, India, China and Europe, European Cultural Foundation, Amsterdam, pp. 83-96. 

Isar, YR 2014, 'Global culture and media', in M Juergensmeyer (ed.), Thinking globally: a global studies reader, University of California Press, Berkeley & Los Angeles.

Isar, YR 2013, 'Beware of vaulting ambitions', Culture and conflict: challenges for Europe's foreign policy, EUNIC Yearbook 2012/2013 Culture Report, EUNIC, Stuttgart.

Isar, YR 2013, 'The Korean wave and "global culture"', in Y Kim (ed.), The Korean wave: Korean media go global, Routledge, London & New York, pp. 219-229.

Isar, YR 2013, 'Politíca de cultura: questões para uma análise comparativa transnacional', in J Guilherme Pereira Leite (ed.), As malhas de cultura 2, Ateliè Editorial, Granja Viana.

Isar, YR 2013, 'Politíca cultural: em face da Hidra', in Grandes lições, vol. 2, Tinta-da-China/Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, pp. 13-30.

Isar, YR 2012, 'Cultural organisations and intercultural dialogue', in L Bekemans (ed.), Intercultural dialogue and multi-level governance in Europe: a human rights based approach, Peter Lang, Brussels.

Isar, YR 2012, 'Global culture', in BS Chimni & S Mallavarapu (eds), International relations: perspectives for the global south, Pearson, New Delhi.

Isar, YR 2012, 'Artists and the creative industries: problems with the paradigm', in I Elam (ed.), Artists and the arts industries, The Swedish Arts Grants Committee (Konstnärsnämnden), Stockholm.

Isar, YR 2012, Hoelscher, M & Anheier, HK 2012, 'Introduction', in YR Isar & HK Anheier (eds), Cities, cultural policy and governance, The Cultures and Globalization Series, SAGE Publications, London, pp. 1-12.

Isar, YR 2012, 'Cultures and cities: some policy implications', in YR Isar & HK Anheier (eds), Cities, cultural policy and governance, Cultures and Globalization Series, SAGE Publications, London, pp. 330-339.

Isar, YR 2012, entries on: 'Culture, media, global'; 'Cultural observatories'; culture, notions of' 'Heritage' and 'UNESCO', in HK Anheier & M Juergensmeyer (eds), The encyclopedia of global studies, SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA.

Isar, YR 2011, 'Hoggart in UNESCO: a close-up in hindsight', in M Bailey & M Eagleton (eds), Richard Hoggart: culture & critique, Critical, Cultural and Communications Press, Nottingham.

Isar, YR 2011, 'Cultural networks and cultural policy: some issues and imperatives', in B Cvjeticanin (ed.), Networks: the evolving aspects of culture in the 21st century, Culturelink Joint Publication Series no. 15, Institute for Cultural Relations, Zagreb.

Isar, YR, Viejo-Rose, D & Anheier, HK 2011, 'Introduction', Heritage, memory and identity, The Cultures and Globalization Series, SAGE Publications, London. 

Isar, YR 2011, 'UNESCO and heritage: global doctrine, global practice', Heritage, memory and identity, The Cultures and Globalization Series, SAGE Publications, London.

Isar, YR 2010, 'Civil society and cultural organizations', in HK Anheier, S Toepler & R List (eds), International encyclopedia of civil society, Springer, New York.

Isar, YR 2010, 'Civil society and culture', in HK Anheier, S Toepler & R List (eds), International encyclopedia of civil society, Springer, New York.

Isar, YR & Anheier, HK 2010, 'Introduction', in HK Anheier & YR Isar (eds), Cultural expression, creativity and innovation, The Cultures and Globalization Series, SAGE Publications, London.

Isar, YR 2008, 'Global view: from conceptual discontents to a global agenda', in A Fonseca Reis (ed.), Creative economy as a development strategy: a view of developing countries, Itaú Cultural, Sao Paulo.

Isar, YR 2008, '"Culture", conflict and security: issues and linkages', in B Hettne (ed.), Human values and global governance: studies in development, security and culture, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Isar, YR 2008, 'The intergovernmental policy actors', in HK Anheier & YR Isar (eds), The cultural economy, The Cultures and Globalization Series, SAGE Publications, London & Thousand Oaks, pp. 108-121.

Isar, YR 2008, 'Cultural policy: issues and interrogations in an international perspective', in S Beckman & S Månsson (eds), KulturSverige 2009: Problemanalys och statistik, SweCult, Linköping, pp. 74-79.

Isar, YR 2007, 'Reflections of a "peripheral insider": convictions and dissonances', in KD Ramadan (ed.),  Peripheral insider: perspectives on contemporary internationalism in visual culture, Museum Tusculanum Press, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen.

Isar, YR 2006, 'Tropes of the "intercultural": multiple perspectives', in N Aalto & E Reuter (eds), Aspects of intercultural dialogue. Theory. Research. Applications, SAXA Verlag, Cologne.

Isar, YR 2006, 'Una "deontologia interculturale": utopia o realismo utopico?', in S Bodo & MR Cifarelli (eds), Quando la cultura fa la differenza: patrimonio, arti e media nella società multiculturale, Meltemi, Rome.

Isar, YR 2004 ,'Per un'idea di convivenza interculturale', in G Habich (ed.), Politiche di confine nel Mediterraneo, Rubettino Editoriale Srl.

Isar, YR 2003, 'Diritti umani e diritti culturali: conflitto o dialogo', in L Bonanate & R Papini (eds), Pace, diritto e ordine internazionale: quali regole per la globalizzazione?,  Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane.

Isar, YR 1990, 'On historical scholarship and a vocabulary of values for preserving the cultural heritage', in AWP Guruge & Y Karunadasa (eds), Ananda: papers on Buddhism and Indology: a felicitation volume presented to Ananda Weihena Palliya Guruge on his sixtieth birthday, Felicitation Volume Editorial Committee, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Isar, YR 1986, 'Cultural preservation vs. modernization', in YR Isar (ed.), The challenge to our cultural heritage: why preserve the past?, Smithsonian Press/UNESCO, Washington/Paris.

Journal Articles

Isar, YR (forthcoming, accepted) 2017, 'Culture', 'sustainable development' and cultural policy: a contrarian view', International Journal of Cultural Policy, Special issue on culture and sustainable development.

Isar, YR 2015, 'Review of Erik Nemeth, Cultural security: evaluating the power of culture in international affairs', European Review of International Studies (ERIS), vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 165-168.

Ang, I, Isar, YR & Mar, P 2015, 'Cultural diplomacy: beyond the national interest?' (opens in a new window), International Journal of Cultural Policy, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 365-381. Professor Ang, Professor Isar and Dr Mar were Guest Editors of this special issue of the journal.

Isar, YR 2015, '"Culture in EU external relations": an idea whose time has come?' (opens in a new window), International Journal of Cultural Policy, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 494-508.

Isar, YR 2012, 'Cultural politics micro and macro', International Journal of Cultural Policy, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 257-59.

Isar, YR 2011, 'Museos: perspectivas de sostenibilidad', museos.es, no. 7-8/2011-12.

Isar, YR 2011, 'Cultural organisations and intercultural dialogue', Pace Diritti Humani/Peace Human Rights, no. 2, pp. 41-50.

Isar, YR 2010, 'Cultural diplomacy: an overplayed hand?', Public Diplomacy, magazine of the Association of Public Diplomacy Scholars at the University of Southern California, no. 3, Winter.

Isar, YR 2010, "'Chindia": a cultural project?', Global Media and Communication, vol. 6, no.

Isar, YR 2009, '"Cultural policy: towards a global survey', Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research, vol. 1, pp. 51-65.

Isar, YR 2009, 'International organizations and culture: new horizons for policy advice?', Zeitschrift für Politikberatung, vol. 2, no. 4.

Isar, YR 2009, 'Unpacking cultural divides', Nordicom Review, Special Issue: Media and Global Divides, Jubilee Issue, vol. 30, June.

Isar, YR 2008, 'Cultures and globalization: conflicts and tensions', Nordisk Kulturpolitisk Tidskrift (Nordic Review of Cultural Policy), vol. 11, no. 2.

Isar, YR 2006, 'Sustainability needs cultural learning', Museums & Social Issues, vol. 1, no. 2.

Isar, YR 2006, 'Cultural diversity', Theory, Culture & Society, special issue on problematizing global knowledge. vol. 23, no. 2-3, pp. 372-375.

Isar, YR 2000, 'Cultural policies for development: tilting against windmills?', Culturelink, Special Issue 2000: Culture and Development vs. Cultural Development.

Isar, YR 1997, 'Culture and development: new perspectives on a shared responsibility', Alli@nce: a Critical Journal of Corporate Citizenship Worldwide, no. 2.

Isar, YR 1990, 'Culture, cultures, perspectives pour les années 90', Spécial Options, no. 32, September.

Isar, YR 1990, 'Museums in the developing world: new models for many needs', Mimar, no. 35, June.

Isar, YR 1990, 'Les enjeux d'une Décennie du développement culturel à l'échelle planétaire: balises pour les années '90', Après-Demain, March.

Isar, YR 1989, 'La conservation du patrimoine: une destinée multiple', préface au numéro spécial 'Au-delà des frontières', de Monuments historiques, February–March.

Isar, YR 1984, 'Agricultural galleries planned for the Libyan National Museums', interview with Jan Jelinek, Museum, no.143.

Isar, YR 1984, 'The Portuguese discoveries and Renaissance Europe', Museum, no. 142.

Isar, YR 1984, 'The Saint Denis Museum of Art and History: a soul, a spirit', interview with Jean Rollin, Museum, no. 142.

Isar, YR 1982, 'The Festival of India in Britain: its import and perspectives', Museum, Vol. XXX, no.4.

Reports

Isar, YR (principal investigator, coordinating editor and lead writer) 2013, United Nations creative economy report: widening local development pathways, UNESCO and United National Development Programme, Paris & New York.

Isar, YR 2012, 'The wealth of a multipolar world: new horizons for cultural exchange?', White Paper prepared for the international seminar 'Public and Private Cultural Exchange-Based Diplomacy: New Models for the 21st Century', organised by the Salzburg Global Seminar and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, Salzburg, 28 April – 2 May.

Isar, YR 2011, 'Civil society empowerment in third countries: are culture actors providing powerful voices in support of democratization processes?', discussion paper prepared for the European Culture Forum, Brussels, 21 October.

Isar, YR 1982, 'The cultural heritage of humanity: a shared responsibility', study presented at the World Conference on Cultural Policies (MONDIACULT), Mexico City, July.

Other Publications

Isar, YR 2010, 'Surviving the crisis: a strategic perspective', NEMO, the newsletter of the Network of European Museum Organisations, December.

Isar, YR 2009, 'Le retour des biens culturels à leurs pays d'origine', Le patrimoine à l'UNESCO : Le défi de la sauvegarde, Club Histoire, Association des anciens fonctionnaires de l'UNESCO.

Isar, YR 2008, 'Globalization, regional cooperation and conservation', Heritage and Development (papers and recommendations of the 12th International Conference of National Trusts, New Delhi, December 2007), INTACH, New Delhi.

Isar, YR 2008, 'Cultural industries and cultural expression: a fraught relationship', OBS (Annual Publication of the Observatório das Actividades Culturais, Lisbon), no. 16.

Isar, YR 2007, 'The cultural economy: issues, aporiae, challenges', paper prepared for the workshop entitled 'Mapping the Cultural Economy in the Euro-Mediterranean Region', Seventh Mediterranean Social and Political Research Meeting of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute, 21–24 March.

Isar, YR 2005, 'Inclusive Europe. Horizon 2020', (conference reader prepared for the Annual Conference of the European Forum for the Arts and Heritage (EFAH), Budapest, November 2005), Kultúrpont, Budapest.

Isar, YR 2005, 'Cultural learning: some issues and horizons' (argument paper commissioned by the Catalyst Conference, Liverpool and Manchester, September 2005). 

Isar, YR 2005, 'Tangible and intangible heritage: are they really Castor and Pollux?', INTACH Vision 2020, (proceedings of the conference INTACH 2020 organised by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, INTACH, November 2004), INTACH, New Delhi.

Isar, YR 2005, 'The mobilization of cultural identity and difference: some conceptual perspectives', paper presented at workshop entitled 'From the Politics of Culture to Cultural Policies', Sixth Mediterranean Social and Political Research Meeting of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute, 16–20 March.

Isar, YR 2005, 'Diversity policies need rethinking', proceedings of a conference entitled 'Social and Cultural Diversity in Central and Eastern Europe: Old Factors and New', published by the Multicultural Centre Prague.

Isar, YR 2003, 'Dossier entitled artistic activism in situations of "extreme conflict": the challenge of evaluation', published by the Information European Theatre Meetings (IETM), Brussels.

Isar, YR 2003, 'Feasibility study for an "Inter-American Cultural Policy Observatory"', prepared for the Organization of American States, Washington, DC.

Isar, YR 2003, 'Towards the "European Observatory of Cultural Cooperation": stakes, objectives, governance', research paper prepared for the European Cultural Foundation, Amsterdam, 2003.

Isar, YR 2003, 'Cultural resources in local development', study prepared for the Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED) Program of the OECD, Paris.

Isar, YR 2002, 'The intercultural challenge: an imperative of solidarity', Intercultural Dialogue, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 2002 (proceedings of the Intercultural Dialogue conference organised by the European Commission, Brussels, 20–21 March 2002).

Isar, YR 2003, 'Asymmetries and dialogue in the reinvention of Europe', presentation at the 125th Bergedorf Round Table (Körber Foundation), published in the volume entitled Reinventing Europe: cultural dimensions of widening and deepening, Körber Stiftung.

Isar, YR 2000, 'Conservators and communities: the search for broader shoulders' (heritage conservation and community development: economic and social factors), lecture for a programme organised by Waseda University, Tokyo, on the policy dimensions of heritage preservation, filmed 15 September.

Isar, YR 1997, 'The power of learning and the power of culture', policy address at the Arts Education International Conference, Hong Kong, 20 March.

Isar, YR 1997, 'Global changes in values – heading towards a standardized world culture?', presentation at the 6th German Business Congress, University of Cologne, 11 March.

Isar, YR 1996, 'Perspectives on the intercultural challenge', keynote address at the Congress of the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research (SIETAR), Munich, 29 May.

Isar, YR 1994, 'On the financing of culture: more questions than answers', paper prepared for the World Commission on Culture and Development, January.

Isar, YR 1987, 'Historic preservation: a new culture in old worlds?', proceedings of the 8th International Symposium of ICOMOS, Washington, DC.

Isar, YR 1987, 'Hindu society: secularization is only part of the story', acts of the XIXth International Conference for the Sociology of Religion, ICSR, Lausanne.

Contact

» Contact Professor Yudhishthir Raj Isar

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