World Heritage

The designation of World Heritage status through UNESCO is a major feature of the global heritage-scape.

Photo of the giant budda carved into the cliff face at Leshan

The success of the 1972 World Heritage Convention is exhibited by the growing number of sites listed as World Heritage and also those on the Tentative List. The formalised processes of inscription and the prestige of recognition also carry complex and challenging subtexts relating to political and economic aspiration and social and cultural change. While there remains much to examine at the level of the World Heritage Site, we also need to understand the ways in which local communities and tourists engage with these sites, what meanings they carry and what role they play in terms of the wider agenda of sustainable development. In doing so we can better address the management and interpretation of World Heritage by its stakeholder groups. Moreover we need closer analysis as to how the World Heritage Convention interfaces with other UNESCO Conventions. These issues are explored in our MA World Heritage Studies.