Accueil > Heritage and international relations : tools, policies and practices

OAFP 4445 - Heritage and international relations : tools, policies and practices

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

During the last two years, several historic cities and heritage sites (Nineveh, Mosul, Aleppo, Palmyra, to mention the most visible recent cases in the Middle East) have been targeted through deliberate and purposely mediatised acts of destruction. This new global attention given to heritage protection and its renewed implication in international relations raises a fresh debate on the relevance of the existing international tools for heritage protection. This seminar proposes an introductory analysis of UNESCO's Conventions and programmes, with a focus on their initial negotiation and further developments as well as on their implementation at the national and intergovernmental level.


FAJOLLES, David J. (General Secretary French National Commission for the UNESCO)

Pedagogical format

This seminar will have 12 sessions (2 hours each), with the following topics: General introduction: presenting main themes and key concepts; role assignment for the simulations. Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1954). Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1970). Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972). Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (2001). Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003). 1st simulation: World Heritage Committee session. Who saved Palmyra? Class Debate on international and national initiatives, their relevance and stakeholders' political opportunities. UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme on documentary heritage. Regional labels: European case studies on heritage and museum registers and awards. 2nd simulation: Intergovernmental Committee on Intangible Cultural Heritage. Final essay. There might be some minor changes in this agenda, depending on the availability of some invited speakers.

Course validation

2 simulations of Intergovernmental Committees: World Heritage Committee session (30%) ; Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (30%). Final Essay (2 hours) (30%). Oral participation (10%).


Each student will be asked: To get prepared for the following session of the seminar through the required readings on the coming topic, on a weekly basis; To prepare oneself for the simulations of intergovernmental committees, both individually and collectively, as soon as the roles (one Member State by Student) will be assigned, mainly on the basis of a general bibliography of contemporary International Relations history and analysis and the public documentation available on the relevant websites on International Conventions.

Required reading