The essays in this book present, for the first time in published form, a systematic comparative overview of cultural heritage policy and its impact - specifically in the field of immovable heritage such as archaeological and historic sites - in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", Montenegro, Romania and Serbia.
The studies focus on the decade from 2003 to 2013 that followed the traumatic and often violent upheavals associated with the breakdown of communism.
That same period also saw a shift in the policy of the European Union and the Council of Europe in support of cultural heritage policies in the region, which led to the launching of the "Ljubljana Process: rehabilitating our common heritage". The challenges gradually moved from encouraging professionals to adopt European standards and realising the potential of heritage to build bridges between peoples and to foster reconciliation, towards highlighting its wider benefits as a catalyst of economic development for the local economy and the quality of life of citizens.
Theorists and practitioners will gain a better insight into the value of cultural heritage and the specificity of cultural heritage policies in South-East Europe, as well as the underlying facts, vision, context and impact of the Ljubljana Process.
This will encourage questioning of existing public policies, as well as the promotion and affirmation of cultural heritage within a new "culture of development".