World heritage sites and the question of scale in governance and politics: a study of Stonehenge

Philip Boland*, Thomas Hastings, M. Satish Kumar, Stephen McKay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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In July 2021, Liverpool was removed from the prestigious List of World Heritage Sites, sending shockwaves around the global heritage community. More recently, the spotlight has shifted to another world famous site also located in the United Kingdom. During the same 44th Session of the World Heritage Committee, UNESCO threatened to place Stonehenge on the List in Danger if the required changes to a significant billion-pound road enhancement project were not implemented. Given what happened in Liverpool, there are fears that Stonehenge is in danger of moving towards delisting. An interesting critical line of inquiry to emerge from Liverpool, and other World Heritage Sites, concerns the local, national, and international ‘politics at the site’. This article develops this debate by analysing the role of different scalar actors involved in the Stonehenge World Heritage Site. More specifically, our article examines how the Stonehenge Alliance sought to engage in, what we define as, scalar manoeuvres that is evidenced by scale jumping and scalar alignments with more powerful players further up the heritage hierarchy in order to effect leverage over the future status of the World Heritage Site.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-176
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Cultural Property
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2023


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