Dissertation Title:

Cultural Heritage as Strategic Driver for Sustainable Development – Towards a Conjunction in Theory and Practice (working title)

Supervisor: Prof. Marie-Theres Albert


In recent decades global development theory, policy and practice has undergone a paradigm shift towards recognizing and promoting culture as the foundation for sustainable development, from which progress in the social, ecological, and economic domains can be spawned. Cultural heritage, understood as representing an inherited component of culture, is assigned particular importance in this context, as it links present cultural formations with the past thus constitutes a sense of continuity in society.  

The research investigates the theoretical link between culture, heritage and sustainable development and how it is implemented in strategies guiding practical interventions. A European Development Fund (EDF) sponsored applied heritage development project in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania serves as a case to examine power relations and culture valuation techniques as critical factors for success of the approach. Based on the results of analysis, suggestions for framing an informed integrated cultural heritage management strategy are aimed to be articulated.

Short Bio:

Jan Küver studied Sociology and Ethnology at University of Göttingen, Germany and graduated with an M.A. degree in 2007. His Master thesis was entitled “Cultural and Corporate Belonging in the Course of Transnational Biographies: A Case Study of a Sierra Leonean Immigrant in Germany”. After completion of his Master, Jan worked as lecturer and administrator in the Department of Cultural Anthropology and Tourism at the University of Iringa (UoI), Tanzania. Since 2013 he is managing a European Development Fund (EDF) sponsored applied heritage development project in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania, which serves as case study for this PhD research.

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