Cultural Heritage as Civilizing Mission

From Decay to Recovery

  • Michael Falser

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Direct Neighbours and the “Primitive”

  3. Civilizing Missions (Post)colonial

  4. From Cultural Brokers to Enlightened Dictators

  5. Archaeological Pasts for Revolutionary Presents

  6. Making Cultural Heritage Global

  7. Back Matter
    Pages 347-356

About this book


This book investigates the role of cultural heritage as a constitutive dimension of different civilizing missions from the colonial era to the present. It includes case studies of the Habsburg Empire and German colonialism in Africa, Asian case studies of (post)colonial India and the Dutch East Indies/Indonesia, China and French Indochina, and a special discussion on 20th-century Cambodia and the temples of Angkor.

The themes examined range from architectural and intellectual history to historic preservation and restoration. Taken together, they offer an overview of historical processes spanning two centuries of institutional practices, wherein the concept of cultural heritage was appropriated both by political regimes and for UNESCO World Heritage agendas.


Angkor Architectural History Civilizing Mission Conservation and Archaeology Cultural Heritage

Editors and affiliations

  • Michael Falser
    • 1
  1. 1.Karl Jaspers CentreUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

Bibliographic information