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Social Sciences - Anthropology & Archaeology | Cultural Heritage Politics in China

Cultural Heritage Politics in China

Blumenfield, Tami, Silverman, Helaine (Eds.)

2013, XVIII, 297 p. 33 illus., 27 illus. in color.

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  • Explores China's cultural heritage policies from three interrelated perspectives
  •  Addresses a wide range of cultural heritage in China, from urban environments to ethnic tourism, to underwater material remains
  • Contains perspectives from Chinese researchers and heritage experts

This volume explores China’s cultural heritage ideology and policies from three interrelated perspectives: the State and World Heritage tourism; cultural heritage tourism at sites not designated through an international system; and the cultural politics of museums and collections . It also considers the broader implications of China as a heritage power as the nation mobilizes routes beyond its borders as essential components of its own patrimony. The volume is timely because a cultural heritage designation craze is underway in China. Officials at many levels now see heritage preservation as a means for commoditizing and developing their regions. They are devoting new resources and attention to national and international heritage designations, but contradictions and complications in the actual practices of designating and protecting heritage abound . Thus, addressing cultural heritage politics in a nation dedicated to designation is an important project, particularly in the context of a rapidly growing economy increasingly interested in asserting its cultural power beyond its borders.

                Cultural Heritage Politics in China addresses a wide range of cultural heritage issues, providing an excellent mix of interdisciplinary case studies: historic vernacular urban environments, ethnic tourism, scenic tourism, pilgrimage as tourism, museums, border heritage, underwater remains, and the actual governance and management of the sites[TB4] . Moreover, the volume draws from an impressive range of contributors, including scholars from China, Hong Kong, Australia, Europe, and the United States, who have both scholarly and applied experience in the fields of heritage tourism and museum studies. In addition to their extensive field research, many contributors have served as consultants for UNESCO, helped China develop applications for World Heritage sites, and consulted with museums. With its extensive case studies from experienced heritage experts, Cultural Heritage Politics in China provides an outstanding introduction to current cultural heritage issues in China and contributes to Chinese studies for those with greater knowledge of the area.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Chinese cultural heritage - Chinese museum studies - archaeology and tourism - environmental concerns and tourism - ethics and state sponsored tourism - ethics of UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Related subjects » Anthropology & Archaeology

Table of contents 



1. Cultural Heritage Politics in China: An Introduction

Helaine Silverman and Tami Blumenfield


2.  Does the Institution of Property Rights Matter to Heritage Preservation? Evidence from China

TANG Zijun


PART II: Local, Regional, National and International Interests in a World Heritage Era


3. Chinese Cosmopolitanism (tianxia he shijie zhuyi) in China’s Heritage Tourism

Margaret Byrne Swain


4. Groping for Stones to Cross the River: Governing Heritage in Emei

Yujie ZHU and Na LI


5. Local versus National Interests in the Promotion and Management of a Heritage Site. A Case Study from Zhejiang Province, China



6. Tourism, Migration and the Politics of Built Heritage in Lijiang, China

Xiaobo SU 


7.  Dancing in the Market: Reconfiguring Commerce and Heritage in Lijiang

Heather Peters




8.  Good Fences Make Good Neighbors: Claiming Heritage in the Longji Terraced Fields Scenic Area

Jenny T. CHIO


9. Re-constructing Cultural Heritage and Imagining Wa Primitiveness in the China/Myanmar Borderlands

LIU Tzu-kai



10.  Beijing’s Museums in the Context of the 2008 Olympics

Curtis Ashton


11.  Community Empowerment at the Periphery? Participatory Approaches to Heritage Protection in Guizhou, China

William Nitzky




12.  The Ancient Tea Horse Road and the Politics of Heritage in Southwest China: Regional Identity in the Context of a Rising China

Gary Sigley


13.  Branding Tengchong: Globalization, Road Building and Spatial Reconfigurations in Yunnan, Southwest China

ZHOU Yongming


14.  The Role of Underwater Archaeology in Framing and Facilitating the Chinese National Strategic Agenda

Jeff Adams




15.  China’s Tangled Web of Heritage

Stevan Harrell

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