Julie Cohen’s book, Between Truth and Power, analyzes our shift to an informational economy, the increasing presence of networked infrastructures that contest our traditional rule-of-law framework, and the important role transnational governance institutions play in this context. As subject-matter examples of the shift to an informational economy, Cohen spotlights labor, land, and money and inspires us to think about how tangible goods have become dematerialized and intangible and then reified again as information and how legal entitlements shape our complex interactions with these newly complex properties. Taking inspiration from Cohen’s spotlight on labor, land, and money, this Essay proposes cultural heritage as another subject matter worthy of the analysis Cohen frames in her book. Is cultural heritage law, as a legal system that mediates between the truth and power Cohen details, equipped to deal with heritage’s new essence as part of informational capitalism? Does our collective cultural interest, the bedrock of the classification of cultural property and the recognition of cultural heritage under the law, look different through the lens of these networked infrastructures on platforms? If cultural heritage is increasingly seen as information, as data to be consumed all over the world, how should cultural heritage law regulate this cultural information, if at all? Should cultural heritage law embrace technology as a complement to its legal framework? If so, what does this mean for traditional actors in the cultural heritage space, especially nation states?
Felicia Caponigri JD, PhD,
Cultural Heritage Law Between Truth and Power: Law's Evolution and Our Collective Cultural Interest in an Informational Economy,
Notre Dame L. Rev. Reflection
Available at: https://scholarship.law.nd.edu/ndlr_online/vol96/iss4/2