Postcolonial cultural governance : a study of heritage management in post-1997 Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-287
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Heritage Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2017


This paper seeks to unpack the politics of heritage preservation in post-1997 Hong Kong. Referring to international frameworks on heritage preservation, it seeks to position Hong Kong’s cultural resource management on par with international discourses for the advancement of heritage governance. Debates surrounding heritage are indeed a part of the wider picture of Hong Kong’s cultural and identity politics and the Hong Kong-China relationship. By examining various contested cases of heritage conservation, and by linking those debates back to the government’s responses within the context of cultural governance, we suggest that heritage management has become a hot stove for cultural politics in post-colonial Hong Kong with deep repercussions in the political, social and economic spheres. The paper examines the rising social debates concerning the removal and conservation of built heritage, and the various government attempts to address these debates. It argues that the current heritage governance mechanism has failed to meet social needs and provide an articulated heritage policy. We propose that a coherent organisational structure is required to better accommodate diverse and contradictory views and discourses surrounding heritage and cultural governance and to tackle the various cultural challenges in postcolonial Hong Kong.

Research Area(s)

  • cultural governance, heritage management, Postcolonial Hong Kong