The Global Politics of Heritage

Master’s level
15 credits (ECTS)
Study pace
Mixed time
Location independent
Study form
Application period
Application code
Full education cost: 22 250 SEK
First payment: 22 250 SEK

No fees are charged for EU and EEA citizens, Swedish residence permit holders and exchange students.

More information about tuition fees

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Why does heritage matter? In an increasingly globalized and technological world, cultural heritage has become an important tool for mobilization and struggle for recognition. At the same time, it is enmeshed in global economic and political industries and structures. In this course, you learn how to analyse contemporary processes of heritage formation around the world, debating its social and political possibilities and consequences from such diverse perspectives as climate change, tourism, transitional justice, and identity politics.


The Galapagos Islands, Belgian beer culture, Cambodia’s killing fields, nuclear waste, and vintage cars. An extraordinarily diverse array of places, practices, and objects fall under the rubric ‘heritage’ today. But what makes heritage heritage, and why does it matter so much in the contemporary world?

In this course, you learn how to analyse historical and contemporary processes of heritage formation around the world, debating its social and political consequences from several perspectives. You will also investigate how heritage can be used for exclusion and domination, social justice and reconciliation, and imagining alternative and sustainable futures, and how heritage catalyses the global circulation and connection of people, money, objects, and ideas.

The course is structured around four thematic blocks:

  • The rise of heritage, where you get a historical overview of heritage as both a social phenomenon and as a discipline.
  • Forms and materiality, where you explore in what terms heritage appears associated with objects, landscapes, infrastructures, and intangible culture.
  • Scholarly approaches, where you learn how to expose different theoretical and conceptual approaches to heritage, for instance in terms of political economy, postcolonialism, posthumanism, etc.
  • Heritage struggles, where you will debate political struggles and conflicts associated with heritage, for instance regarding transitional justice and the memorialization of violence, multiculturalism, or anti-heritage movements.

Prerequisites and selection

Entry requirements

A completed core course of 15 higher education credits in the second cycle within the field of global studies. Alternatively a completed undergraduate degree in the humanities or social sciences, or the equivalent competence.

Language requirements: English 6/English B from Swedish Upper Secondary School or the equivalent level of an internationally recognized test, for example TOEFL, IELTS, or alternatively a bachelor's degree from an education held in English.


Selection is based upon the number of credits from previous university studies, maximum 165 credits.

After graduation

This course gives you in-depth knowledge of the global politics of heritage and prepares you for work in different areas, from museums and the cultural industry to public services associated with culture, preservation, etc.