PhD Success: The Right to Cultural Participation: Access to and Enjoyment of Museum Collections, Hsiao-Mei Ku

Hsiao-Mei’s research investigates the cultural right enshrined in Article 15(1)(a) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966 (‘ICESCR’), in the context of museums.
PhD Success: The Right to Cultural Participation: Access to and Enjoyment of Museum Collections, Hsiao-Mei Ku

Hsiao-Mei Ku

The cultural participation right in Article 15(1)(a) of the ICESCR is an integral part of human rights. Everyone has the right to engage in cultures and the freedom to choose cultural identities, share and develop cultural expressions. The promotion of and respect for this right is essential for the maintenance of human dignity in a diverse and multicultural world. However, this area is under-explored and often overlooked.

Using a combination of doctrinal (predominantly), comparative and socio-legal approaches, Hsiao-Mei’s research explores legal and ethical guidance existing in this area and its application to English and Taiwanese museums making ‘a significant and original contribution to the relevant study of field‘ according to Hsiao-Mei’s examiners.

The research notes that the role of the cultural participation right is as both a shield and sword. As a shield, the right is principally protective, ensuring the vulnerable, the marginalised, and indigenous people are not excluded from access to culture or have their culture denigrated. As a sword, the right is principally proactive, ensuring that the conception of culture is dynamic, evolving and that the realisation of participation in culture is progressive. Hsiao-Mei suggests that realising the cultural participation right in the museum context requires services rendered also present these roles.

Hsiao-Mei Ku was supervised by Janet Ulph and Stephen Riley.

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