Becoming a conservation ‘good power’

Our new article “Becoming a conservation ‘good power’: Norway’s early World Heritage history” is available in the International Journal for Cultural Policy

Abstract: States stand at the core of the World Heritage Convention and their multifaceted interstate relations have been a central subject in contemporary World Heritage research. Less research has been directed towards intrastate relations, that is relations between organisation-agencies and individual agents within a State Party. Spurring from the 40th anniversary of Norway’s ratification of the World Heritage Convention, this paper utilises archival records to explore the intrastate relations and transactional authority at play within the State Party of Norway. Inspired by recent research in international relations and political science, it analyses Norway’s ratification process (1972–1977) through its early years as an observer (1978–1983) to its first committee tenure (1983–1989). Currently known as one of the spokespersons for scientific advice, returning to the 1980s provides an opportunity to reflect on how Norway laid the foundations for becoming a conservation ‘good power’ through its actions and responses to other states’ lobbying efforts.

More about the project: The article forms part of an on-going research project tracking the Norwegian World Heritage history. This article completes the first phase of the project covering the period from 1972-1989 drawing on national governmental and UNESCO archives. Read more about our archival adventures on sciencenordic.com and kulturminnebloggen.

Photo: Stephan Tschudi-Madsen – one of the key players in the early World Heritage history. Credit Digitalt museum/Norsk folkemuseum/Wikipedia. CC BY-SA 4.0

Full reference: Herdis Hølleland & Jessica Phelps (2018): Becoming a conservation ‘good power’: Norway ’s early World Heritage history, International Journal of Cultural Policy.