This book focuses on the balance between protecting human rights and protecting world heritage sites. It concerns itself with the idea that the management of heritage properties worldwide may fail to adequately respect traditional entitlements and rights of individuals and communities living within or being affected by changes in the use of these spaces. It also explores the concept that the international heritage field has limited knowledge and awareness of this challenge.
The volume argues that the dilemmas in question result from different conceptualisations of the key terms of 'rights', 'heritage' and 'community' among different groups and across political and cultural boundaries. In so far as 'culture' is what enables us to read the meanings involved, the ultimate questions are those that ask whose power is contested when one meaning is ‘fixed’ and the heritage of one group of humans is given the right to have its symbolic representation enjoyed and protected. The included case studies give vivid examples of this.
This book was originally published as a special issue of the International Journal of Heritage Studies.