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The aim of this introduction is to contextualise the multifarious notion of cultural diversity by analysing, firstly, its relations with globalisation as well as the different normative actions undertaken by UNESCO to protect it against the negative impacts of the globalisation processes. This introduction also explains how globalisation can be beneficial for cultural diversity and contribute to new, fluid and deterritorialised phenomena. Finally, fear of cultural diversity, characterised by ethnocentric attitudes that attempt to preserve “authentic identities”, is briefly touched upon, along with the obvious limitations of such stances. The second part of this introduction presents the articles selected for this issue among the background papers commissioned by UNESCO to help to draft the 2009 World Report on cultural diversity. Each article sheds light on particular dimensions of cultural diversity: in combination, they provide a valuable overview of its multiple meanings and contexts.