Laufende Forschungsprojekte

Arenas of the Immaterial: How human actors deal with diverging norms of intellectual property

Projekt im Rahmen des Exzellenzclusters „Herausbildung normativer Ordnungen“ an der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main.

Projektleitung: Mamadou Diawara. Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin: Ute Röschenthaler. Förderung: DFG. Laufzeit: November 2012–Oktober 2017.

The project studies the historical development of intellectual property rights in Africa and their local realizations in an increasingly mobile and globalized world. It connects to international projects of preserving cultural heritage and protecting African immaterial cultural goods. Many scholars, especially in Europe and North America, have been interested in studying the implementation of intellectual property norms, proclaiming that membership in multilateral agreements were advantageous for development. Many of them, however, soon stated that their implementation was incomplete due to the incapacity, informality and clientelism of African governments. The objective of the project "Arenas of the immaterial" is to study the implemtation of intellectual property norms as well as the challenges and obstacles that accompany this process in a diachronic perspective and from the local actors' points of view. It explores how the judicial norms are perceived and articulated in different local contexts, how local actors work with them and contribute to their transformation when they adapt them to their own interests. It will analyse the tension of different interests that arise when the international judicial norms for the protection of intellectual property meet the locally established norms and judicial positions. The project examines when and how the differnt international norms of intellectual property (author rights, copy rights, patents, protection of brands, foklore and local knowledge) have been established.