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The Best We Share: Nation, Culture and World-Making in the UNESCO World Heritage Arena

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The Best We Share

Nation, Culture and World-Making in the UNESCO World Heritage Arena

Christoph Brumann

360 pages, 20 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-80073-044-1 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Not Yet Published (March 2021)

eISBN 978-1-80073-045-8 eBook Not Yet Published

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“…a crucial reading for anthropologists observing ‘world-making’ though the exploration of international apparatuses shaping global governance. At the same time, it offers to political scientists an alternative perspective on topics such as the crisis of multilateralism or the persistence of North/South imbalances.” • Chiara Bortolotto, Institut interdisciplinaire d’anthropologie du contemporain at EHESS, Paris


The UNESCO World Heritage Convention is one of the most widely ratified international treaties, and a place on the World Heritage List is a widely coveted mark of distinction. Building on ethnographic fieldwork at Committee sessions, interviews and documentary study, the book links the change in operations of the World Heritage Committee with structural nation-centeredness, vulnerable procedures for evaluation, monitoring and decision-making, and loose heritage conceptions that have been inconsistently applied. As the most ambitious study of the World Heritage arena so far, this volume dissects the inner workings of a prominent global body, demonstrating the power of ethnography in the highly formalised and diplomatic context of a multilateral organisation.

Christoph Brumann is Head of Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, and Honorary Professor of Anthropology at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. His books include World Heritage on the Ground: Ethnographic Perspectives (co-edited with David Berliner, Berghahn Books, 2016) and Tradition, Democracy and the Townscape of Kyoto: Claiming a Right to the Past (Routledge, 2012).

Subject: Anthropology (General) Museum Studies Cultural Studies (General)


List of Illustrations


Chapter 1. A Day in the Life of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee
Chapter 2. The Promise of World Heritage
Chapter 3. Fulfilling the Promise
Chapter 4. Rebellion and Peace
Chapter 5. The Nation State
Chapter 6. Procedures
Chapter 7. Concepts
Chapter 8. Global North and South

Conclusion: Utopian Remnants and the Logic of Growth


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