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International Cultural Heritage Regimes, International Law, and the Politics of Expertise

  • Lucas Lixinski (a1)
Abstract:

The article examines the problematic politics of expertise in the formation of international legal rules in the field of heritage, looking specifically at international conventions made under the auspices of UNESCO. The article shows that, even within this seemingly small and cohesive universe, there is a lot of room for disagreement, and much of it can be traced back to what Laurajane Smith has called “the Authorized Heritage Discourse” (AHD). The AHD is responsible for the dichotomization of heritage between intangible and tangible, as heritage professionals strive to hold on to and expand their self-created professional legitimacy and importance. Heritage professionals, in striving to maintain their relevance, tend to create self-referential regimes that exclude heritage holders and communities. I argue that lawyers, because of their own professional tendencies, might be in a position to offer a counterpoint to rule by experts in international cultural heritage management.

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International Journal of Cultural Property
  • ISSN: 0940-7391
  • EISSN: 1465-7317
  • URL: /core/journals/international-journal-of-cultural-property
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