"Our common heritage"

new tourist nations, post-"socialist" pegagogy, and the globalization of nature

Joanna Breidenbach, Pál Nyiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


UNESCO's World Heritage program, which aims to encourage participation in the preservation of local cultural and natural heritage and international cooperation in conservation, now includes some 830 sites of “outstanding value to humanity.” The notion of world heritage has been quickly embraced by the tourism industry, and consequently countries in which commodified tourism was nonexistent 20 years ago are experiencing a tourism boom. Examination of the social construction of heritage tourism in two post-“Socialist” states, Russia and China, suggests that the “treasures of all humankind” there are not so much sites of a “global cultural commons” as laboratories and mirrors of new cultural practices and ideologies that reflect the two countries' different historical traditions, views of development and the “good life,” structures of social order, and positions in the current global order. The story of World Heritage in these two countries reinforces the need to restore the nation, with its distinctive practices of culture and power and its particular position in post–cold-war globalization, to our understanding of even the seemingly most global phenomena.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-330
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent anthropology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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