1st Edition

Heritage Diplomacy Discourses, Imaginaries and Practices of Heritage and Power

Edited By Tuuli Lähdesmäki, Viktorija L.A. Čeginskas Copyright 2024

    The book focuses on international cultural relations dealing with cultural heritage in terms of heritage diplomacy. The contributors discuss the potentials and limitations of heritage diplomacy and how it could be approached in theory, policy, and praxis.

    Cultural heritage is an essential element in transmitting values, establishing narratives of historical and contemporary connectivity, and creating subjective and collective identities and a feeling of belonging. During the past decade, the potential of cultural heritage for state foreign policy and in international heritage governance has attracted increasing interest among heritage scholars. This potential, however, remains under-researched in the broader spectrum of international cultural relations. This volume aims to critically explore the previous research on heritage diplomacy, develop its theoretical basis and scope, and thereby extend the discussion to new topics and themes. The articles extend the discussion of cultural heritage from its role in ‘soft power’ and foreign policy to a dialogic approach within international cultural relations. Such an approach deconstructs existing hierarchies in domestic and international power relations and understands cultural heritage as a contact zone that fosters people-to-people connectivity and cooperation based on trust.

    Heritage Diplomacy: Discourses, Imaginaries and Practices of Heritage and Power will appeal to upper-level students, researchers, and academics interested in Heritage Studies, Cultural Studies, Anthropology, International Relations, and Policy Studies. The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of The International Journal of Cultural Policy.

    Introduction: reflecting on heritage diplomacy

    Viktorija L. A. Čeginskas and Tuuli Lähdesmäki

    1. EU heritage diplomacy: entangled external and internal cultural relations

    Katja Mäkinen, Tuuli Lähdesmäki, Sigrid Kaasik-Krogerus, Viktorija L. A. Čeginskas and Johanna Turunen

    2. Mainstreaming heritages: abstract heritage values as strategic resources in EU external relations

    Stefan Groth

    3. Dialogic approach in the EU’s international cultural relations: joint EUNIC-EU delegation projects as heritage diplomacy

    Viktorija L. A. Čeginskas and Tuuli Lähdesmäki

    4. Debating structural violence in European heritage diplomacy

    Johanna Turunen and Sigrid Kaasik-Krogerus 

    5. Heritage diplomacy through the lens of the European Capitals of Culture programme

    Cristina Clopot

    6. ‘Contact zones’ of heritage diplomacy: transformations of museums in the (post)pandemic reality

    Natalia Grincheva

    7. ‘Constructing’ heritage diplomacy in Central Asia: China’s Sinocentric historicisation of transnational World Heritage Sites

    Giulia Sciorati 

    8. Inviting all humanity to an elite club? Understanding tensions in UNESCO’s global heritage regimes through the lens of a typology of goods

    Hanna Schreiber and Bartosz Pieliński 

    Heritage diplomacy; an afterword

    Tim Winter


    Tuuli Lähdesmäki is Associate Professor at the Department of Music, Art and Culture Studies, at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland.

    Viktorija L. A. Čeginskas is Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of History and Ethnology of the University of Jyväskylä, Finland.