The ethics and politics of world heritage : local application at the site of Laponia
Summary, in English
This article explores the ethics of world heritage (WH) through a cosmopolitan lens. It proposes that cosmopolitanism provides fertile ground for the study of WH, in particular if combined with sensitivity to distinct indigenous ethical and political claims. Underpinning my article is the question of whether the politics of WH, despite its peaceful and universalist intensions, obscures local disputes and subaltern voices. The empirical emphasis is placed on the WH site of Laponia in the North of Sweden–a location of Sami indigenous communities and commercial mining interests. I provide a narrative analysis of the inconsistencies between the Swedish ‘good state’ narrative defined by support for human and indigenous rights globally and the protection ambition of WH and its generally favourable attitude towards mining, despite its potentially damaging effects on the WH site of Laponia and the cultural heritage and land rights of Sami people living there. My study also provides an analysis of Sami narratives on Laponia–storylines that are rarely included in the Swedish ‘good state’ narrative. The study seeks to contribute to scholarly understandings of indigenous peoples’ ability to lay claims to the cosmopolitan protection logic that prevails in WH.
- Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
- Indigenous justice
- World heritage
- ISSN: 1744-9626