[Cancelled] Cecile Fabre: Lecture on Cultural Heritage

14. Dezember

Protecting Humankind’s Common Cultural Heritage: The Problem of Cultural Appropriation

Institut für Philosophie, Hörsaal 3D NIG, Universitätsstraße 7, 3. Stock, 1010 Wien 



The thought that there are cultural landmarks which have universal value is a familiar one. It is at the heart of UNESCO's and the World Heritage's mission, and is affirmed in a number of international declarations, not least the Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage. For all its appeal, UNESCO's ideals raise some deep concerns. In particular, it is not easy to articulate an account of universal value; and it is not easy to show why we are under moral obligations in respect of that heritage. Nevertheless, I attempt to defend those ideals. I seek to show that the protection of humankind's heritage, qua humankind's, not only is a moral imperative: more strongly put, it is a duty of justice. I then address one of the most important objections to it - namely that it undermines states’ and their citizenries’ legitimate interest in deciding what to do with landmarks which are located on their territory.


Cecile Fabre a political philosopher, and currently Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. She is also Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Oxford, and affiliated with the Faculty of Philosophy, the Department of Politics and International Relations, and Nuffield College, Oxford. Her research interests are in theories of distributive justice; the philosophy of democracy; just war theory; the ethics of foreign policy, with particular focus on the ethics of economic statecraft and the ethics of espionage.

She most recently published Spying Through a Glass Darkly: The Ethics of Espionage and Counter-Intelligence (Oxford University Press 2022); Economic Statecraft: Human Rights, Sanctions, and Conditionality (Harvard University Press, 2018), preceded by (among others) Cosmopolitan Peace (Oxford University Press, 2016), The Morality of Defensive War, co-edited with Seth Lazar (Oxford University Press, 2014), Cosmopolitan War (Oxford University Press, 2012).


For questions, contact sophie.kroiss@univie.ac.at