Heritage Diplomacy Discourses in the EU

Notions on Cultural Diplomacy, Cultural Heritage, and Intercultural Dialogue among EU Officials and Heritage Practitioners

in Ethnologia Europaea
Tuuli Lähdesmäki University of Jyväskylä tuuli.lahdesmaki@jyu.fi

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The European Commission has recently identified cultural heritage as one of the focus areas for EU cultural diplomacy. The article explores EU cultural diplomacy that deals with cultural heritage and discusses the concept of heritage diplomacy based on a discourse analysis of interviews with EU officials and heritage practitioners working at sites awarded the European Heritage Label. How do EU officials and heritage practitioners understand the role of cultural heritage for cultural diplomacy and what kinds of discourses do they use in talking about it? My analysis indicates that heritage diplomacy means different things for EU officials and heritage practitioners. Their discourses on the uses of cultural heritage for diplomacy construct divergent understandings of cultural heritage and heritage diplomacy, and the power relations between these understandings.

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