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Maags, Christina and Holbig, Heike (2016) 'Replicating Elite Dominance in Intangible Cultural Heritage Safeguarding: The Role of Local Government–Scholar Networks in China.' International Journal of Cultural Property, 23 (1). pp. 71-97.

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Since “intangible cultural heritage” (ICH) became the new focal point in the global heritage discourse, governments and scholars in many countries have begun to promote this new form of “immaterial” culture. The People’s Republic of China has been one of the most active state parties implementing the new scheme and adapting it to domestic discourses and practices. Policies formulated at the national level have become increasingly malleable to the interests of local government-scholar networks. By conducting a comparative case study of two provinces, this article aims to identify the role of local elite networks in the domestic implementation of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, focusing on the incentives of scholars and officials to participate in ICH policy networks. It finds that the implementation of the Convention has not removed the power asymmetry between elite and popular actors but, instead, has fostered an elite-driven policy approach shaped by symbiotic, mutually legitimizing government–scholar networks.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Politics & International Studies
ISSN: 09407391
Copyright Statement: © International Cultural Property Society 2016. This is the version of the article accepted for publication in International Journal of Cultural Property published by Cambridge University Press:
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2019 13:19

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