We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Heritage Preservation and the Transforming State in Lviv:
A Changing Professional Field

VONNAK, DIANA (2020) Heritage Preservation and the Transforming State in Lviv:
A Changing Professional Field
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC).



Building novel connections between recent work in heritage studies, the anthropology of expertise and post-socialism, this dissertation explores a protracted crisis of heritage expertise in Ukraine. Empirically, it combines historical reconstruction of the long durée of the heritage profession, with an ethnography of conflicts around museums and monuments in the historic city of Lviv, Ukraine. Analysing the relationship between expertise and the changing state in post- socialist heritage preservation, the dissertation argues that comprehensive socio-political shifts, such as those that took place in Ukraine after the fall of the USSR, challenge professions the expertise and recognition of which are intertwined with state institutions.
The end of the USSR and the ensuing crisis of professional legitimacy cleaved the heritage field in Lviv, disrupting hierarchies and rearranging key positions of prestige. In the mid-2000s, heritage became a new priority in local urban development; and since 2014, the war in Donbas gave further urgency to the claims of the ‘European’ history of the city. These developments have created new opportunities in professions central to the recognition and maintenance of heritage in Lviv, and reinvigorated their sense of professional purpose. Parallel orders of institutional and expert legitimacies emerged in this heritage field, with distinct career trajectories. Key divisions in the field run not between the state and the third or the private sector, but often between those state actors invested in preserving vertical bureaucratic control, and those pushing for an ‘opening up’, with local and international allies on both sides.
Still, the public heritage infrastructure in Ukraine remains largely unchanged since the end of state socialism. Museums and universities are systematically underfunded, managed through tight bureaucratic control. Unable to change nation-wide laws and policies, municipal authorities who push for the ‘heritigisation’ of Lviv have engaged in a dual strategy: lobbying for decentralisation, and circumventing the national state through alliances with transnational actors and the private sector.
Without sustained financial and managerial autonomy, these institutions are in a precarious situation that compromises their capacity for critical professionalism. Alternative, non-state institutions need to secure state support if they are to gain permission to work with state property, and to translate international networks and recognition into local credentials. The result is a cautious, compromise-seeking approach to professional problems that has defined the cultural landscape of Lviv in the last decade. Interpreting these professional divisions and crises in relation to the critical heritage literature, the dissertation argues against monolithic ascriptions of expert power, suggesting that a field theory-based approach to heritage professionals can help us better assess their position and power, especially as these relate to institutional and cultural transformations of the public sector. 

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:heritage; urban change; expertise; post-socialism; Ukraine
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Anthropology, Department of
Thesis Date:2020
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:26 Nov 2020 10:51

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter