Legal and Policy Issues
Edited by Christoph Beat Graber, Karolina Kuprecht and Jessica Christine Lai
Chapter 11: Indigenous cultural heritage in development and trade: perspectives from the dynamics of cultural heritage law and policy
The protection of cultural heritage has become a matter of great concern in the past two decades and the subject of intense policy negotiations. An emerging awareness of the complexity of issues pertaining to indigenous cultural heritage (ICH) has been one consequence of this process and has arguably shaped it, enabling scholars, activists and international policymakers to more clearly understand cultural heritage as both a source of identity and a resource for sustainable development. In these global processes of deliberation, conventional international cultural policy principles that privilege the interests and agency of long-established European nation states and their definitions of cultural heritage are increasingly challenged. New states and states assuming greater international prominence have put new issues on the cultural policy table, as have historically colonized peoples, minority groups and globally organised indigenous peoples’ movements and their advocates. The latter, in particular, have contested the propriety of state dominance in protecting, maintaining and safeguarding heritage properties, while insisting upon the distinctive role that cultural heritage plays in the constitution of their identities and their futures as distinct peoples.
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