Managing Cultural Heritage as Neoliberal Governmentality
In Regina Bendix, Aditya Eggert, Arnkia Peselmann, Sven Meßling (eds.) Heritage Regimes and the State. Gottingen Studies on Cultural Property, Vol. 6 (Gottingen: Gottingen University Press), 375-389, 2012
13 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2014 Last revised: 12 Apr 2019
Date Written: 2012
This contribution briefly reflects upon some of the other works in this volume of critical cultural heritage scholarship, which explore the changing nature of ‘cultural heritage’ in legal, political, and governmental realms. I trace a brief history of the evolving status of cultural heritage management, as well as highlighting new challenges pertaining to questions over appropriate custodians of heritage. Traditionally this role has been accorded to states, but minorities and indigenous communities are beginning to play a more integral part in custodianship. However, heritage regimes are increasingly becoming neoliberal, espousing new forms of governmentality stemming from decentralization and distribution of governmental powers. It is too early to determine to what extent and how effectively novel international tools for cultural valorization and local development can be put to new ends, but it is not too soon to begin to critically engage with the conditions that will thwart or advance struggles for social justice.
Keywords: Governmentality, Cultural heritage management, Neoliberalism, Critical cultural heritage
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