Much Ado about Culture

North American Trade Disputes
Keith Acheson and Christopher Maule
Examines trade disputes between Canada and the United States over the cultural industries and proposes a way to resolve such conflicts


In Canada, the audio-visual and print industries are referred to as the cultural industries, whereas the United States calls them the entertainment industries. These language distinctions are accompanied by different domestic policies and political discourses. The United States has relatively open policies toward these activities, while Canada has adopted an inward-looking approach. Failure to integrate cultural industries into NAFTA and WTO has led to trade disputes between Canada and the United States over copyrights, television licensing, violence in media, and discriminatory magazine policy, indicating the need for an agreed-upon process for settling cultural trade disputes.

Much Ado about Culture explores the differing sets of policies—cultural nationalism versus the open option—and the resulting conflicts in the context of technological developments as well as international agreements dealing with trade, investment, copyright, and labor movements. The Canadian cultural industries are examined, from film and television production and distribution to broadcasting, publishing, and sound recording. Several areas of recent conflict, such as Sports Illustrated, Country Music Television, and Borders Books, highlight the types of policies disputed, the process followed, and the conclusions reached. Finally, the authors propose an alternative approach to constraining national cultural policies by international agreement that would allow the gains from openness to be realized while serving legitimate cultural concerns.

Authored by the acknowledged experts on trade disputes in the cultural arena, this book will be essential reading for international economists, policymakers, and lawyers interested in the cultural industries.

Keith Acheson and Christopher Maule are Professors of Economics, Carleton University, Ontario.

Praise / Awards

  • "Acheson and Maule calmly strip away the protectionist nonsense in Canadian and European policies toward cultural products. Their book is a real contribution-to culture as well as to economics."
    —Brian Hindley, London School of Economics
  • "A product of meticulous research, this book is a valuable addition to the literature. . . . I recommend this book to any communication scholar interested in public policy toward the cultural industries."
    —Colin Hoskins, Canadian Journal of Communication
  • ". . . A book that is information-rich, conceptually sophisticated, and balanced in its judgments."
    —Richard Schultz, Communication Booknotes Quarterly, Volume 32, No. 3
  • "This book deserves too be widely read by cultural specialists of all disciplines as well as by economists, particularly those with an interest in the cultural industries and international trade. It should be required reading for cultural economists."
    —Ruth Towse, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Economic Journal, March 2000
  • ". . . serious scholars and policymakers with interests in the fast-growing and symbolically important entertainment industries owe it to themselves to read this careful assessment of one country's attempt to mitigate market forces through bureaucratic fiat and taxpayers' money."
    —Steven Globerman, Western Washington University, Journal of Cultural Economics, December 2000

Product Details

  • 384 pages.
  • 5 drawings, 14 tables.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Ebook
  • 2009
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-02241-0

  • PDF: Adobe Digital Editions e-book (DRM Protected)

Add to Cart
  • $39.95 U.S.

  • PDF Rental 180 Days: Adobe Digital Editions e-book (DRM Protected)

Add to Cart
  • $22.50 U.S.

  • PDF Rental 30 Days: Adobe Digital Editions e-book (DRM Protected)

Add to Cart
  • $12.00 U.S.

  • Kindle

Add to Cart

Choosing any of the above format options will take you to the appropriate e-retailer to complete your purchase. Pricing may vary by individual e-retailer. Please see e-retailer site for purchasing information.

For more information about our Digital Products, including reading systems and accessible formats, visit our Digital Products page.

Related Products

Add to Cart
  • $39.95 U.S.