Museums, Heritage and International Development  book cover
1st Edition

Museums, Heritage and International Development

Edited By

Paul Basu


Wayne Modest

ISBN 9780415659512
Published October 27, 2014 by Routledge
356 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $170.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

While many claims are made regarding the power of cultural heritage as a driver and enabler of sustainable development, the relationship between museums, heritage and development has received little academic scrutiny. This book stages a critical conversation between the interdisciplinary fields of museum studies, heritage studies and development studies to explore this under-researched sphere of development intervention. In an agenda-setting introduction, the editors explore the seemingly oppositional temporalities and values represented by these "past-making" and "future-making" projects, arguing that these provide a framework for mutual critique. Contributors to the volume bring insights from a wide range of academic and practitioner perspectives on a series of international case studies, which each raise challenging questions that reach beyond merely cultural concerns and fully engage with both the legacies of colonial power inequalities and the shifting geopolitical dynamics of contemporary international relations. Cultural heritage embodies different values and can be instrumentalized to serve different economic, social and political objectives within development contexts, but the past is also intrinsic to the present and is foundational to people’s aspirations for the future. Museums, Heritage and International Development explores the problematics as well as potentials, the politics as well as possibilities, in this fascinating nexus.

Table of Contents

1. Museums, Heritage and International Development: A Critical Conversation  Paul Basu and Wayne Modest  2. UNESCO, Museums and ‘Development’  Yudhishthir Raj Isar  3. Complicating Culture for Development: Negotiating ‘Dysfunctional Heritage’ in Sierra Leone  Paul Basu and Johanna Zetterstrom-Sharp  4. Art for Life: Intangible Cultural Heritage and Livelihood Development in India  Amitava Bhattacharya  5. US Cultural Diplomacy, Cultural Heritage Preservation and Development at the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul  William C. S. Remsen and Laura A. Tedesco  6. Reconstructing Afghan Identity: Nation-building, International Relations and the Safeguarding of Afghanistan’s Buddhist Heritage  Constance Wyndham  7. Has It Been Worth It?: Personal Reflections on Museum Development in Ghana  Malcolm McLeod  8. Development Challenges and Shared Heritage-Making Processes in Southwest Ghana  Matteo Aria, Mariaclaudia Cristofano and Stefano Maltese  9. Museum Kapuas Raya: The In-between Museum  Itie van Hout  10. ‘Only Foreigners Can Do It?’: Technical Assistance, Advocacy and Brokerage at Aksum, Ethiopia  Bianca Maria Nardella and Michael Mallinson  11. Health Education and Participatory Exhibition Development in Malawi  Ruth McKew  12. Hintang and the Double-bind Promise of Development  Anna Källén  13. Cultural Heritage, Humanitarianism and Development: Critical Links  Christina Kreps  14. Reconceptualizing Heritage in China: Museums, Development and the Shifting Dynamics of Power  Harriet Evans and Michael Rowlands  15. Postconflict Heritage in Asia: Shifting Geographies of Aid  Tim Winter  16. Visualizing Development: The Tropenmuseum and International Development Aid  David Hildering, Wayne Modest and Warda Aztouti

View More



Paul Basu is Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at SOAS University of London.

Wayne Modest is the head of the Research Centre for Material Culture at the National Museum of World Cultures in the Netherlands.