My Goodness, My Heritage! Constructing Good Heritage in the Irish Economic Crisis
In 2008, the Republic of Ireland entered a severe financial crisis partly as a part of the global economic crisis. Since then, it has seen large raises in income taxes and cuts in state spending on health, welfare, education and on heritage, which has suffered relatively large cuts. This implies a need for rethinking choices and prioritisations to cope with the changing circumstances. Across Europe, the effects of the crisis on heritage, or the whole cultural sector, have yet mostly been highlighted in general or supposed terms rather than empirically analysed. But what actually happens to how heritage is conceptualised in times of crisis? Inspired by Critical Discourse Analysis, this paper explores representation of and argumentation for heritage in Irish state heritage policies pre and post the recession 2008. Much concerns regarding heritage management are discursively shaped. Policies, stating the authorised viewpoint, are thus key in the construction of heritage and its values in society. Recently, research has highlighted a shift towards more instrumentality in cultural policy due to wider societal changes. A crisis could influence such development. The analysis departs from an often-stated notion of heritage as a part of the Irish national recovery, but what does that imply? Focus is therefore put on how different representations of heritage and its values are present, argued for and compete in a situation with increasing competition regarding relevance and support. The paper shows how heritage matters are refocused, streamlined and packaged as productive, good-for-all, unproblematic and decomplexified in order to be perceived and valued as part of the national recovery. This includes privileging certain instrumental values, foremost economic, by means of specificity, space and quantification, while heritage’s contribution to social life, education or health, although often mentioned, are downplayed by being expressed in much more vague terms.
Ashworth, Gregory, Brian Graham & John Tunbridge (2007): Pluralising Pasts. Heritage, Identity and Place in Multicultural Societies, London: Pluto Press.
Australia ICOMOS (1979/1999): The Burra Charter: The Australia ICOMOS Charter for Places of Cultural Significance, Australia, ICOMOS.
Bacchi, Carol (2000): ‘Policy as Discourse: What Does it mean? Where does it Get Us?’, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 21:1, 45–57.
Bailey, Christopher, Stephan Miles & Peter Stark (2004): ‘Culture-led Urban Regeneration and the Revitalisation of Identities in Newcastle, Gateshead and the North East of England’, Internat-ional Journal of Cultural Policy, 10, 47–65.
Belfiore, Eleonora (2004): ‘Auditing Culture: The Subsidized Cultural Sector in the New Public Management’, International Journal of Cultural Policy, 10:2, 183–202.
Bennett, Oliver (1995): ‘Cultural Policy in the United Kingdom: Collapsing Rationales and the End of a Tradition’, International Journal of Cultural Policy, 1:2, 199–216.
Birkland, Thomas (1989): ‘Focusing Events, Mobilization, and Agenda Setting’, Journal of public policy. 18:1, 53–74.
Boin, Arjen, Paul 't Hart & Allan McConnell (2009): ‘Crisis Exploitation: Political and Policy Impacts of Framing Contests’, Journal of European Public Policy, 16:1, 81–106.
Bowitz, Einar & Karin Ibenholt (2009): ‘Economic Impacts of Cultural Heritage: Research and Perspectives’, Journal of Cultural Heritage, 10, 1–8.
Clark, Kate (2010): ‘Values in Cultural Resource Management’, in George S. Smith, Phyllis Mauch Messenger & Hillary A. Soderland (eds): Heritage Values in Contemporary Society, Walnut Creek, California: Left Coast Press, 89–99.
Codd, John (1988): ‘The construction and deconstruction of educational policy documents’, Journal of Education Policy, 3:3, 235–247.
Cooke, Pat (2003): ‘The Containment of Heritage: Setting Limits to the Growth of Heritage in Ireland’, Studies in Public Policy, 11, 1–108.
Council of Europe (2005): Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society, Council of Europe, Strasbourg.
DAHG, Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (2011): Statement of Strategy 2011–2014, Government of Ireland.
DAHGI, Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands (2002): National Heritage Plan. 2002–2007, Government of Ireland.
Deenihan, Jimmy (2011): Speech at the conference Place as resource. 27 October 2011. http://heritagecouncil.ie/fileadmin/user_upload/Events/Place_As_Resource/Presentations/Minister_Deenihan_Conference_Opening_Address.pdf (accessed 5 May 2014)
DEHL Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government (2008): Statement of Strategy 2008–2010, Government of Ireland.
Drudy, Patrick & Collins, Micheal (2011): ‘Ireland: From Boom to Austerity’, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 4, 339–354.
Dümcke, Cornelia & Gnedovsky, Mikhail (2013): The Social and Economic Value of Cultural Heritage: Literature Review, EENC Paper.
Ecorys (2012): Economic Value of Ireland’s Historic Environment. Final report to the Heritage Council, Dublin: Heritage Council.
Fabiani, Jean-Luis (2014): Cultural Governance and the Crisis of Financial Capitalism Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research, Thematic Section: Capitalism: Current Crisis and Cultural Critique, 6, 211–222.
Fairclough, Norman (2003): Analysing Discourse: Textual Analysis for Social Research. New York: Routledge.
Fairclough, Norma (2012): ‘Critical Discourse Analysis’, International Advances in Engineering and Techno-logy, 7, 452–487.
Fairclough, Norman & Ruth Wodak (1997): ‘Critical Discourse Analysis’, Teun van Dijk (ed): Discourse as Social Interaction, London: Sage, 258–284.
Fine Gael and the Labour Party (2011): Government for National Recovery 2011–2016. http://www.socialjustice.ie/sites/default/files/file/Government%20Docs%20etc/2011-03-06%20-%20Programme%20for%20Government%202011-2016.pdf (accessed August 2014).
Gibson, Lisette (2008): ‘In Defence of Instrumentality’, Cultural Trends, 17:4, 247–257.
Graham, Brian, Ashworth, Gregory & Tunbridge, John (2000): A Geography of Heritage: Power, Culture and Economy, London: Arnold.
Gray, Clive (2002): ‘Local government and the arts’, Local Government Studies, 28:91, 77–90.
Gray, Clive (2007): ‘Commodification and Instrumentality in Cultural Policy’, International Journal of Cultural Policy, 13:2, 203–215.
Hall, Stuart (1997): ‘The Work of Representation’, Stuart Hall (ed.): Representation. Cultural Representation and Signifying Practices, Sage, London, 13–74.
Hardiman, Niamh & Muiris MacCarthaig (2013): How governments retrench in crisis: the case of Ireland. University College Dublin, Geary Institute, 9.
Harvey, D.C. (2008): ‘A history of Heritage’, in Brian Graham & Peter Howard (eds): Ashgate Research Companion to Heritage and Identity, Aldershot: Ashgate, 28–56.
HC, Heritage council (2001): The Plan 2001-2005. The Heritage Council.
HC, Heritage council (2007): Strategic Plan 2007-2011. The Heritage Council.
HC, Heritage council (2008): Annual report 2008. The Heritage Council.
HC, Heritage council (2012): Heritage Supporting Jobs, Education and Tourism. Strategic Plan 2012-2016. The Heritage Council.
Heritage Council (2014): homepage http://www.heritageCouncil.ie (accessed August 2014).
Hoskins, Gareth (2013): Blog note: Decisions, Value and Power, 25 October 2013. http://codesignheritage.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/decisions-value-and-power/ (accessed 2014-06-17)
Hoskins, Gareth (2015): ’Vagaries of value at California State Parks: towards a geographical axiology’, Cultural Geographies, 1–19, (published online March 19 2015).
Inkei, Péter (2010): The Effects of the Economic Crisis on Culture, CultureWatchEurope conference 2010, Brussels, 6–7 September.
Kentikelenis, Alexander, Marina Karanikolos, Irene Papanicolas, Sanjay Basu, Martin McKee & David Stuckler (2011): ’Health Effects of Financial Crisis: Omens of a Greek Tragedy’, The Lancet, 378:9801, 1457–1458.
Kirby, Peadar & Mary Murphy (2011): Towards a Second Republic: Irish Politics After the Celtic Tiger, London: Pluto Press.
Kohl, Philip & Clair Fawsett (1996): Nationalism, Politics and the Practice of Archaeology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Lynch, Bernadette & Samuel M. Aberti (2010): ’Legacies of Prejudice: Racism, Co-production and Radical Trust in the Museum’, Museum Management and Curatorship, 25:1,13–35.
Mason, Randall (2002): ‘Assessing Values in Conservation Planning: Methodological Issues and Choices’, Marta de la Torre (ed): Assessing the Values of Cultural Heritage, Research Report, Los Angeles: The Getty Conservation Institute, 5–30.
Matarasso, François (1997): Use or Ornament? The Social Impact of Participation in the Arts, Stroud: Comedia.
McManus, Ruth (2005): ‘Heritage crisis? Heritage Construction, Tourism and Place Marketing in Ireland’, Mark McCarthy (ed): Ireland’s Heritage, Altershot: Ashgate, 235–251.
Meade, Rosmary (2011): ‘Brand Ireland: Culture in the Crisis’, Concept 2:3, no page numbers.
Mydland, Leidulf & Grahn, Wera (2012): ‘Identifying Heritage Values in Local Communities’, International Journal of Heritage Studies, 18:6, 564–587.
Negussie, Elene (2004): ‘What is Worth Conserving in the Urban Environment? Temporal Shifts in Cultural Attitudes Towards the Built Heritage in Ireland’, Irish Geography, 37:2, 202–222.
Newman, Andrew (2005): ’'Social Exclusion Zone' and 'the Feelgood Factor'’, in Gerard Corsane (ed): Heritage, Museums and Galleries: An Introductory Reader, London: Routledge, 325–332.
O'Callaghan, Cian, Kelly, Sinéad, Boyle, Mark & Kitchin, Rob (2015): ’Topologies and Topographies of Ireland's Neoliberal Crisis’, Space and Polity, 19:1, 31–46.
Parkinson, Arthur, Mark Scott & Declan Redmond (2013): ‘Urbanity, Exclusionary Discourses and Built Heritage Policy in Ireland’. Paper presented at the International RC21 Conference 2013.
Peacock, Alan & Ilde Rizzo (2008): The Heritage Game: Economics, Policy, and Practice, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Pendlebury, John (2013): ‘Conservation Values, the Authorised Heritage Discourse and the Conservation-planning Assemblage’, International Journal of Heritage Studies, 19:7, 709–727.
Pendlebury, John, Tim Townshend & Rose Gilroy (2004): ‘The Conservation of English Cultural Built Heritage: A Force for Social Inclusion?’, International Journal of Heritage Studies, 10:1, 11–31.
Phillips, Adrian & Mary Tubridy (1994): ‘New Supports for Heritage Tourism in Rural Ireland’, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 2:1–2, 112–129.
Røyseng, Sigrid (2008): ’The Ritual Logic of Cultural Policy’. Paper presented at the Fifth International Conference on Cultural Policy Research, Istanbul. 2008.
Sandell, Richard (2003): ‘Social Inclusion, the Museum and the Dynamics of Sectoral Change’, Museum and Society, 1:1, 45–62.
Schlanger, Nathan & Kenneth Aitchison (2010): Archaeology and the Global Economic Crisis: Multiple Impacts, Possible Solutions, Tervuren, Culture Lab Editions.
Smith, Laurajane (2006): Uses of Heritage. New York/London: Routledge.
Smith, Laurajane (2012): ‘Discussion’, Regina F. Bendix, Aditya Eggert & Arnika Peselmann (eds): Heritage Regimes and the State, Göttingen Studies in Cultural Property, Volume 6, 389–395.
Taylor, Sandra (1997): ‘Critical Policy Analysis: Exploring Contexts, Texts and Consequences’, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 18:1, 23–35.
Till, Karen (2005): The New Berlin: Memory, Politics, Place, Minneapolis: University of Minne-sota Press.
Timeto, Fredrica (2011): ‘Diffracting the Rays of Technoscience: A Situated Critique of Representation’, Poiesis & Praxis, 8:2–3, 151–167.
Tlili, Anwar (2008): ’Behind the Policy Mantra of the Inclusive Museum: Receptions of Social Exclusion and Inclusion in Museums and Science Centres’, Cultural Sociology, 2:1, 123-147.
Vestheim, Geir (1994): ‘Instrumental Cultural Policy in Scandinavian Countries: A Critical Historical Perspective’, European Journal of Cultural Policy, 1, 57–71.
Waterton, Emma (2010): Politics, Policy and the Discourses of Heritage, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.
Waterton, Emma, Laurajane Smith & Gary Campbell (2006): ‘The Utility of Discourse Analysis to Heritage Studies: The Burra Charter and Social nclusion’, International Journal of Heritage Studies, 12:4, 339–355.
West, Celine & Charlotte Smith (2005): ‘“We are not a government poodle”: Museums and social inclusion under New Labour’, International Journal of Cultural Policy, 11:3, 275–288.
Wilson, Carter (2000): ‘Policy Regimes and Policy Change’, Journal of Public Policy, 20:3, 247–274
Wilson, Carter (2013): Public Policy: Continuity and Change, 2:nd ed. Long Grove: Waveland Press, Inc.
Wodak, Ruth, Rudolf De Cilla, Martin Reisigl & Karin Liebhart (1999): The Discursive Construction of National Identity, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Copyright for all manuscripts rests with the author(s). The editors reserve the right to edit manuscripts. Contributors are responsible for acquiring all permissions from the copyright owners for the use of quotations, illustrations, tables, etc. Each author must, before final publication fill, in a publishing agreement provided by LiU E-Press.
Since 2021 Culture Unbound uses a Creative Commons: Attribution license for new articles, which allows users to distribute the work and to reform or build upon it without the author's permission. Full reference to the author must be given. For older articles please see each article landing page.