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Heritage Beyond Borders: Australian Approaches to Extra-National Built Heritage

Abstract

The rights of the state to protect heritage within its borders, to ratify international conventions and to cooperate in bilateral engagements have been foundational concepts of heritage governance. Extreme circumstances may result in an intervention by non-state parties, but in times of peace it is typically the state that prevails. Drawing from recent efforts (2000s) of the Australian Federal Government to create a ‘List of Overseas Places of Historic Significance to Australia’, this paper explores the complications that can arise from the privileging of state authority in current approaches to heritage. This serves as a point of departure for considering the more widely applicable contradictions, limitations and loopholes of a global approach that favours the ‘state’ and the ramifications this might have for heritage diplomacy.

Résumé

Les droits de l’État à protéger son patrimoine à l’intérieur de ses frontières, ratifier des conventions internationales et coopérer dans le cadre d’initiatives bilatérales sont des concepts fondamentaux de la gouvernance patrimoniale. Des entités non étatiques pourraient intervenir dans des cas extrêmes, mais en temps de paix, l’État a généralement préséance. En s’inspirant des initiatives récentes (années 2000) du gouvernement fédéral australien pour créer une « liste des lieux étrangers ayant une importance historique pour l’Australie » , le présent article explore les complications que peut entraîner la position privilégiée de l’autorité d’État dans le contexte des approches patrimoniales courantes. De là, l’article considère les contradictions, limitations et lacunes plus largement applicables d’une approche mondiale qui favorise l’État, et les ramifications que cela pourrait avoir pour la diplomatie patrimoniale.

Resumen

Los derechos del estado para proteger el patrimonio dentro de sus fronteras, para ratificar convenios, y para cooperar en compromisos bilaterales, han sido conceptos fundacionales de la gobernanza patrimonial. Circunstancias extremas pueden dar lugar a una intervención por partes no estatales, pero en tiempos de paz normalmente es el estado el que prevalece. Recurriendo a esfuerzos recientes (años 2000) del Gobierno Federal australiano para crear una ‘Lista de Lugares de Ultramar de Significado Histórico para Australia’, el presente documento explora las complicaciones que pueden surgir de privilegiar la autoridad estatal en los enfoques actuales con respecto al patrimonio. Esto sirve como punto de partida para considerar las contradicciones, las limitaciones y las fisuras más ampliamente aplicables de un enfoque global que favorece al ‘estado’, y las ramificaciones que esto podría tener para la diplomacia patrimonial.

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Figure 1

Source: Julian Nitzsche, Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gallipoli_ANZAC_Cove_2.JPG (Creative Commons 4.0)

Figure 2

Source: Jorge Lascar, Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ANZAC_Cove_(8708683015).jpg (Creative Commons 2.0)

Figure 3

Source: Luke Brindley, Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kokoda_track_Papua_New_Guinea.JPG (Creative Commons 4.0)

Figure 4

Source: Sticks66, Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:AWM_Cemetery_Villers-Bretoneux_2012.jpg (Creative Commons 3.0)

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Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank Richard M. Hutchings and Joshua Dent for facilitating the ‘Archaeology and the Late Modern State’ panel at the Association of Critical Heritage Studies conference in Montreal (2016), and for their efforts in editing this Special Issue. The author is also thankful for the suggestions of peer reviewers on an earlier version of this paper.

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Correspondence to Amy Clarke.

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Clarke, A. Heritage Beyond Borders: Australian Approaches to Extra-National Built Heritage. Arch 13, 153–174 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11759-017-9313-y

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Key words

  • Australia
  • Extra-national
  • Heritage diplomacy