Genealogy of the Concept of Heritage in the European Commission's Policy Discourse

in Contributions to the History of Concepts
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  • 1 University of Jyväskylä tuuli.lahdesmaki@jyu.fi
  • 2 University of Jyväskylä sigrid.s.kaasik-krogerus@jyu.fi
  • 3 University of Jyväskylä katja.a.p.makinen@jyu.fi
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Abstract

This article investigates the genealogy of the concept of heritage in the European Commission's (EC) policy discourse from 1973 to 2016. Based on conceptual analysis of 2,412 documents gathered from the EUR-Lex database, the uses of the concept in the EC's policy discourse were categorized into seven thematic areas: nature, environment, and biodiversity; human habitats; economy and employment; agricultural products and foodstuffs; promotion of societal development and stability; audiovisuality and digitalization; and European identity and integration. In the EC's discourse, heritage develops in the context of intertwined phases of EU integration and cultural Europeanization. The study indicates how the EC governs heritage mostly through implicit cultural policies included in diverse policy sectors other than culture.

Contributor Notes

Tuuli Lähdesmäki is Academy Research Fellow and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Music, Art and Culture Studies at the University of Jyväskylä. Email: tuuli.lahdesmaki@jyu.fi

Sigrid Kaasik-Krogerus is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Music, Art and Culture Studies at the University of Jyväskylä. Email: sigrid.s.kaasik-krogerus@jyu.fi

Katja Mäkinen is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Music, Art and Culture Studies at the University of Jyväskylä. Email: katja.a.p.makinen@jyu.fi