Why Our Research Matters

Heritage - Cultural Heritage and Economic Development in International and European Law

Researcher: Professor Valentina Vadi

Funder: European Research Council

Summary: Can the protection of cultural heritage and the promotion of economic development be reconciled in international and European law?

The protection of cultural heritage is a fundamental public interest that is closely connected to fundamental human rights and is deemed to be among the best guarantees of international peace and security.

Economic globalization and international economic governance have spurred a more intense dialogue and interaction among nations – potentially promoting cultural diversity and providing the funds to recover and preserve cultural heritage of nations. However, these phenomena can also jeopardize cultural heritage. While trade in cultural products can lead to cultural diversity, if it is imbalanced, it can lead to cultural homogenization. In parallel, foreign direct investments in the extraction of natural resources have the ultimate capacity of changing cultural landscapes. At the same time, the increase in global trade, economic integration and foreign direct investment has determined the creation of legally binding and highly effective regimes that demand states to promote and facilitate trade and foreign direct investment. Does the existing legal framework adequately protect cultural heritage vis-à-vis economic globalization?

Aims: This research project aims to investigate whether and how international law and European Union (EU) law govern cultural phenomena and respond to the challenges posed by economic globalization.


Women who Buy Sexual Services in the UK

Researcher: Dr Sarah Kingston

Funder: British Academy/Leverhulme

Aims: This study seeks to explore motivations and characteristics of women who purchase sex, who and where they buy sex from and to explore how physical and sexual safety are negotiated. The findings will contribute to growing an empirically grounded UK sex work research base and consider the place of female sex buyers in UK policy debates which have increasingly targeted clients.



Secure Dynamic Cloud for Information, Communication and Resource Interoperability based on Pan-European Disaster Inventory (SecInCoRe)

Co-investigator: Dr Catherine Easton

Funder: EU FP-7

Project: The project aims to identify data sets, processes, information systems and business models used by first responders and police authorities and to develop a dynamic and secure cloud-based “common information space”. The work is undertaken by eight partners across the EU and the Lancaster team’s role is to embed and develop the ethical, legal and social issues that arise as the project progresses.