Cultural Heritage as Civilizing Mission: Methodological Considerations

  • Michael FalserEmail author
Part of the Transcultural Research – Heidelberg Studies on Asia and Europe in a Global Context book series (TRANSCULT)


The self-legitimation of political regimes in modern history was and often still is attempted through a twofold strategy: (a) a normative assessment of the ruled country’s past and present, and (b) the enactment of a concrete committed action programme to guide the nation towards a better future. The interest in this dynamic of a normative (intro-)vision on the one hand, and—as a practical consequence—of an applied, action-oriented mission on the other, forms the basis of this volume’s thematic inquiry. Although this critical assessment of the past and present may encompass a wide variety of aspects (social, financial, moral, intellectual, etc.), our focus here is on the specific field of materialized culture, and in particular on the complex of architectural manifestations that crystallizes over time through a multiform process into a (supposedly) “representative,” (i.e. trans-generational and collective) cultural canon of the nation known as cultural heritage.


Cultural Heritage World Heritage Khmer Rouge Hague Convention Historic Monument 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cluster of Excellence ‘Asia and Europe in a Global Context’Heidelberg UniversityHeidelbergGermany

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