Conclusion: Roles Governments Play in Shaping the Symbolic Landscape

  • Jeroen RodenbergEmail author
  • Pieter Wagenaar
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Cultural Heritage and Conflict book series (PSCHC)


The volume concludes with the observation that governments play a major role in the continuing process of shaping and re-shaping of a society’s symbolic landscape. What has also become clear is that governments do not act as unitary actors, but play different and often conflicting roles. We should thus speak of ‘the roles of governments,’ instead of ‘the role of government.’ We have also seen that what is important is not so much the role governments play in instances of cultural contestation, but rather the way they shape the symbolic landscape. As this volume demonstrated, governments always have a part in this, by articulating historical narratives and heritage discourses through policies. The various and conflicting roles governments play in instances of cultural contestation are an effect of their actions in shaping and re-shaping the symbolic landscape.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political Science and Public AdministrationVU University AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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