Conceptualisation of heritage diplomacy in scholarship
Lähdesmäki, T., & Čeginskas, V. L. A. (2022). Conceptualisation of heritage diplomacy in scholarship. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 28(5), 635-650. https://doi.org/10.1080/13527258.2022.2054846
Published inInternational Journal of Heritage Studies
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Heritage diplomacy is a recent concept and a new area of interest in the expanding scope of diplomacy. The concept is explored with various epistemological foci and theoretical frameworks in Western scholarship. It is often used to describe joint international projects or government initiatives abroad for preserving tangible cultural heritage. Several recent studies link heritage diplomacy to attempts to develop reciprocal relations between countries, regions, and/or communities through cultural heritage based on dialogue. This article contributes to interdisciplinary scholarship on heritage diplomacy by clarifying the concept, including its inherent notions of cultural heritage and approaches to power. Our critical close reading of 57 sampled scholarly publications reveals how heritage diplomacy is commonly approached from a conservationist point of view, emphasising the preservation of tangible cultural heritage through knowledge exchange, material aid, and funding. Scholarship lacks studies focusing on the uses of intangible cultural heritage for heritage diplomacy. The study reveals heritage diplomacy scholars’ shared interest in power asymmetry and struggle: the concept can be used to recognise and deconstruct power hierarchies between heritage communities. We do this by understanding cultural heritage as a contact zone of people-to-people connectivity, reciprocal cooperation, mutual trust, and dialogue. ...
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Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Academy Project, AoF
Additional information about fundingThis work was supported by the Academy of Finland under Grant 330602 (HERIDI).
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