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Chapter 1 Instrumental Cosmopolitanism: The “Valorization” of Heritage and Sociality in Mediterranean Cities

Culture and Society in Tourism Contexts

ISBN: 978-0-85724-683-7, eISBN: 978-0-85724-684-4

Publication date: 19 October 2012


The Mediterranean has long been celebrated for the richness, diversity, and historical depth of its cultural heritage. However, in recent years heritage and heritage practice could be said to have become a new mode of production in the region (Bianchi, 2005). There are a number of reasons for this; one has to do with the stagnation of the Mediterranean's traditional “sun, sea, and sand” tourism. As a result of this tour operators and national governments have started to push the packaging of “culture” and “heritage” for a more diversified “up-market” product to attract higher-spending tourists to the region's cities and rural hinterland. Another factor is the restructuring and liberalization of the regional economy since the closing decades of the 20th century. There has seen a shift from agriculture to services as the dominant economic sector in this region and the concomitant discovery of culture has become an economic asset for investors seeking an outlet for global capital flows (Bianchi, 2005; Daher, 2007; Nogués-Pedregal, 2002). The European Union (EU) has had an important role to play in these processes, both in driving the region's neoliberal market reforms, and in promoting the establishment of its cultural heritage economy. Cultural heritage has become a priority area in EU Mediterranean policy, with millions of euros earmarked for heritage related projects. This takes the form both of loans to private investors from the European Development Bank, and of grants for public sector cultural heritage initiatives, for example, through its Euromed Heritage programs, the fourth phase of which is underway at the time of writing (Bianchi, 2005; Euromed Heritage, n.d.).


Scott, J. (2012), "Chapter 1 Instrumental Cosmopolitanism: The “Valorization” of Heritage and Sociality in Mediterranean Cities", Nogués-Pedregal, A.-.-M. (Ed.) Culture and Society in Tourism Contexts (Tourism Social Science Series, Vol. 17), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 1-24.



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