Heritage as Aid and Diplomacy in Asia

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Stephen Hoadley, New Zealand International Review, 2020.

"This book adds to the growing challenge that 'low politics' is posing to the traditional predominance of 'high politics.'

Whether or not one subscribes to the revisionist, post-colonial and de-constructivist schools of heritage diplomacy that inspire this collection, one will find current and useful information about not only Preah Vihear and Angkor but also about the Bamiyan Buddhist statues, Kunqu opera and heritage sites or issues in Indonesia, Japan, China, North and South Korea and elsewhere in Asia. The politics, pressures and distortions induced by UNESCO and other international heritage institutions and affiliated 'experts' animate the case studies. 

Each essay is informative, clearly presented and understandable by lay readers but also conceptually sophisticated and thoroughly documented for scholarly readers. Each offers international and domestic political insights to which neoclassical realists such as this reviewer can readily relate."

About the Publication

Drawing from eleven rich case studies in Asia, this book is the first to explore how heritage is used as aid and diplomacy by various agencies to produce knowledge, power, values and geopolitics in the global heritage regime. It represents an interdisciplinary endeavour to feature a diversity of situations where cultural heritage is invoked or promoted to serve interests or visions that supposedly transcend local or national paradigms. This collection of articles thus not only considers processes of “UNESCO-ization” of heritage (or their equivalents when conducted by other international or national actors) by exploring the diplomatic and developmentalist politics of heritage-making at play and its transformational impact on societies. It also describes how local and outside states often collude with international mechanisms to further their interests at the expense of local communities and of citizens’ rights. 

Heritage as Aid and Diplomacy in Asia explores the following questions: Under the current international heritage regime, what are the mechanisms of—and the manipulations that take place within—ideological, political and cultural transmissions? What is heritage diplomacy and how can we conceptualize it? How do the complicated history and colonial past of Asia constitute the current practices of heritage diplomacy and shape heritage discourse in Asia? How do international organizations, nation-states, NGOs, heritage brokers and experts contribute to the history of the global heritage discourse? How has the flow of global knowledge been transferred and transformed? And how does the global hierarchy of cultural values function?

Co-publication: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute; International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS); and Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica

Co-published with the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) and the Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica


PDF e-book files for this publication are available as detailed below.

Heritage as Aid and Diplomacy in Asia [Whole Publication, ISBN: 978-981-4881-16-6], by Philippe Peycam, Shu-Li Wang, Hui Yew-Foong, Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao, editors 24.00 USD
Preliminary pages Download
1. Heritage as Aid and Diplomacy in Asia: An Introduction, by Shu-Li Wang, Philippe Peycam, Hui Yew-Foong, Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao, authors Download
2. World Heritage and WikiLeaks: Territory, Trade and Temples on the Thai-Cambodian Border, by Lynn Meskell, author 5.00 USD
3. Heritage Making – Aid For Whom? The Genealogy of Expert Reports in the Hands of Politics and Their Impact in the Case of Preah Vihear, by Brigitta Hauser-Schäublin, author 5.00 USD
4. The International Coordinating Committee for Angkor: A World Heritage Site as an Arena of Competition, Connivance and State(s) Legitimation, by Philippe Peycam, author 5.00 USD
5. Legacies of Cultural Philanthropy in Asia, by Mary S Zurbuchen , author 5.00 USD
6. To Help or Make Chaos? An Ethnography of Dutch Expertise in Postcolonial Indonesia, by Lauren Yapp, author 5.00 USD
7. Heritage Conservation as a Tool for Cultural Diplomacy: Implications for the Sino-Japanese Relationship, by Victor Chi-Ming Chan, author 5.00 USD
8. From Ideological Alliance to Identity Clash: The Historical Origin of the Sino-Korean Goguryeo Controversies, by Anran Wang, author 5.00 USD
9. Nationalism, Politics and the Practice of Archaeology in Afghanistan: A Case Study of Bamiyan, by J Eva Meharry, author 5.00 USD
10. Disappearing Voices: The Politics and Practice of Safeguarding Kunqu Opera in the People’s Republic of China, by Min Yen Ong, author 5.00 USD
11. Neoliberalizing Heritage: International Agencies and the Local Dynamics of Heritage Conservation in Bali, Indonesia, by Agung Wardana, author 5.00 USD
12. Heritage Conservation as Trickle-Down Development, by Jayde Lin Roberts, author 5.00 USD
Index Download

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