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World Heritage Craze in China

Universal Discourse, National Culture, and Local Memory

Haiming Yan

242 pages, 20 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-804-5 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (March 2018)

eISBN 978-1-78533-805-2 eBook

Hb   Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Buy the ebook from these vendors


“This book makes several important contributions to the heritage literature. It fills a huge gap in the literature and should be required reading for anyone seriously interested in global heritage conservation.” · Diane Barthel-Bouchier, Stony Brook University

“It was an eye-opening journey through the complex pathways of international ‘soft power’ playing out in China’s unique landscape of centralized government power and immensely rich and diverse cultural heritage.” · Pei-Lin Yu, Boise State University


There is a World Heritage Craze in China. China claims to have the longest continuous civilization in the world and is seeking recognition from UNESCO. This book explores three dimensions of the UNESCO World Heritage initiative with particular relevance for China: the universal agenda, the national practices, and the local responses. With a sociological lens, this book offers comprehensive insights into World Heritage, as well as China’s deep social, cultural, and political structures.

Haiming Yan is Associate Research Fellow at the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage.

Subject: Archaeology Sociology General Cultural Studies
Area: Asia Asia-Pacific



Chapter 1. From Relics to Heritage
Chapter 2. From World Heritage to National Solidarity
Chapter 3. Fujian Tulou: From Harmony to Hegemony
Chapter 4. Mount Songshan: From the Center of Sacred Mountains to the “Center of Heaven and Earth”
Chapter 5. The Great Wall: From Ethnic Boundary to Cosmopolitan Memory

Conclusion: World Heritage as Discursive Institution


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