Sunday, 28 November 2010

Principles & Aims of this research network

The main principle underlying this network is that conservation of cultural heritage is affected by local, national and international socio-economic factors associated with the contexts where it is carried out, but conversely conservation can also significantly affect and invigorate socio-economic development. Conservation of cultural heritage can be used as a tool leading to improvement in people’s lives. Cultural traditions embodied in physical structures support identity, civil society, disaster recovery, and economic prosperity. At the same time, however, conservation may be used to shape political and economic development following agendas that may not correspond to the needs or desires of the local communities. 

This network will focus on:
  • Areas of socio- cultural, economic and/or ecological development.
  • Areas of post-conflict reconstruction (ongoing conflict and/or conflict prone will also be considered).
  • Areas of reconstruction due to natural disasters.
  • Although these areas are independent they may also overlap in some contexts.
  • Explore possible cross-disciplinarily collaborations in both practical and theoretical levels.
  • Explore how to engage local interest groups in re-construction / development through the practice of conservation.
  • Explore the relationships between different factors (local, national and international politics; socio-economic development; disaster recovery; local history; cultural identity) and the conservation of cultural heritage, with a focus on how conservation of cultural heritage affects these factors, and vice-versa.
  • Explore links between cultural heritage conservation and environmental conservation especially in cases where biodiversity and ecology play strong roles in the lives of local people.
  • Explore the diffusion and impact of ‘western’ ideas of conservation and heritage preservation through reconstruction/development.

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