Questioning the implementation of the World Heritage Convention : a value-based analysis of purposefully sampled nomination dossiers
This thesis investigates States Parties' implementation of the 1972 UNESCO Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Its objectives are two-fold. The first of these is the quantitative and qualitative analysis of the evolution of the values for which cultural heritage sites have been nominated for World Heritage status in relation to the decisions of the World Heritage Committee across different categories of cultural heritage. The second objective is the examination of States Parties' representations of the past and the nation, of human and cultural diversity, of economic value, and of authenticity and conservation by means of an evaluation of sampled nomination dossiers of cultural heritage sites for inclusion on the World Heritage List. The thesis methodology is based on intensive archival work of UNESCO documents as well as value-led analyses of one hundred and six purposefully sampled nomination dossiers. ATLAS. ti, a Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software program, was used for the quantitative and qualitative analyses and interpretation of the sampled data set. The end result has been to identify how States Parties have understood the notion of outstanding universal value which is the key and central concept of the World Heritage Convention. It has also been to highlight the problems in States Parties' implementation of the World Heritage Convention and in the requested format of nomination dossiers. This has led to practical changes to official discourses on World Heritage and suggestions for procedural improvements. These changes and suggestions should help States Parties to identify better the values for which sites are being nominated for World Heritage status and improve their long-term conservation and management.