Heritage Politics in China: The Power of the Past, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Heritage Politics in China

The Power of the Past, 1st Edition

By Yujie Zhu, Christina Maags


176 pages | 15 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138332706
pub: 2020-01-24
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Heritage Politics in China: The Power of the Past studies the impact of heritage policies and discourses on the Chinese state and Chinese society. It sheds light on the way Chinese heritage policies have transformed the narratives and cultural practices of the past to serve the interests of the present.

As well as reinforcing a collective social identity, heritage in China has served as an instrument of governance and regulation at home and a tool to generate soft power abroad. Drawing on a critical analysis of heritage policies and laws, empirical case studies and interviews with policymakers, practitioners, and local community, the authors offer a comprehensive perspective on the role that cultural heritage plays in Chinese politics and policy. They argue that heritage-making appropriates international, national and local values, thereby transforming it into a public good suitable for commercial exploitation. By framing heritage as a site of cooperation, contestation, and negotiation, this book contributes to our understanding of the complex nature of heritage in the rapidly shifting landscape of contemporary China.

Heritage Politics in China: The Power of the Past is essential reading for academics, researchers and students in the fields of heritage studies, cultural studies, Asian studies, anthropology, tourism and politics.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The Power of the Past; 2. Heritage: A Cultural History; 3.Institutions and Discourse; 4. Xi’an: Urban Heritage; 5. Nanjing: Living Heritage; 6. Lijiang: Ethnic Heritage; 7. Heritage-making: Value Appropriation and Responses; 8. Conclusion: Past, Present and Future

About the Authors

Dr Yujie Zhu is a Lecturer at the Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies, the Australian National University. He is the author of Heritage and Romantic Consumption in China and the co-editor of Politics of Scale: New Directions in Critical Heritage Studies.

Christina Maags is Lecturer in Chinese Politics at the Politics Department at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Christina’s research interests focus on the politics around cultural heritage in PR China unfolding, for instance, within the Chinese Living Human Treasures.

About the Series

Routledge Research on Museums and Heritage in Asia

This new and thought-provoking series will provide researchers, students, policymakers and practitioners with the latest thinking on museums and heritage across Asia. With contributions from international experts, titles in the series will be relevant to those working in a wide-range of disciplines, including museum and heritage studies, Asian studies, tourism, anthropology, sociology and politics.

To submit proposals, please contact the Routledge Editor, Heidi Lowther ([email protected]).

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Asia / China
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Library & Information Science / General