The impact of UNESCO’s Convention on national policy-making

Developing a new heritage protection paradigm?

Authored by: Janet Blake

The Routledge Companion to Intangible Cultural Heritage

Print publication date:  December  2016
Online publication date:  December  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138860551
eBook ISBN: 9781315716404
Adobe ISBN: 9781317506898


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My earlier chapter examines the requirements placed on States Parties to the UNESCO’s 2003 Convention to develop new and appropriate policies for safeguarding heritage by providing an analysis of some of the policy developments that have been made thus far by some States Parties in this endeavor. Many of these new policies are designed to ensure a close fit with the needs of sustainable development. In addition, they are aimed at giving a much greater prominence to achieving a meaningful participation by bearer communities, not only in the identification of this heritage, but also in designing and implementing plans for its safeguarding and management. This, of course, presents a major challenge to many governmental bodies active in the field of culture that have, traditionally, directed the heritage protection/safeguarding process from the center and for this to be, on the whole, a state-driven activity. As such, the 2003 Convention has contributed to new policy approaches towards heritage protection and, indeed, created a paradigm shift in how we understand heritage as a subject of state intervention and the relationship between State and non-state actors in this process (Arantes, 2007).

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