Is Britain set to pull out of UNESCO?

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Cornwall Mining Landscape © David Gill

The International Development Secretary, Penny Mourdant, has suggested that the UK should withdraw from UNESCO (Emily Thornberry, “UK withdrawal from Unesco would be historical and cultural vandalism“, The Guardian 13 November 2018). The UK (and its dependencies) is home to 31 sites inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

The report reminds its readers of the economic value of UNESCO World Heritage status: “Britain makes a net gain from our membership of Unesco: we contributed £11m to the agency this year, versus £100m value added to our economy from its designation of our heritage sites”.

Heritage sites, indeed inscribed UNESCO World Heritage sites, form part of the UK Government tourism strategy to attract more visitors. Had Mourdant taken the time to understand the benefits of the UK remaining a member of UNESCO?

It is reported that Mourdant’s proposal has been rejected by No. 10.

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Academic journals: AMPS (Architecture, Media, Politics, Society)

Journal summary: AMPS (Architecture, Media, Politics, Society) is an international nonprofit research organisation. AMPS sees the definition, debates and concerns of the built environment as intrinsic to those at the heart of other social, cultural and political discourses. The territory it seeks to explore is an overlaid terrain in which the physical, material and the environmental are critically examined through the prism of the cultural, the mediatic, the social and the political.
Its focus is cross disciplinary and draws on the media, politics and the social sciences. It invites participation from all sectors: architects, planners, policy makers, artists, academics, the public and community activists. It functions as an open access platform for publication, a forum for debate through conferences and workshop, a conduit for book publications and also operates as an academic resource repository. Run by information professionals, the repository offers up-to-date materials and listings for research.
Its social aims can be defined as: promoting an understanding of the role of architecture and the built environment on communities, public health and society more broadly; engaging all its stakeholders in events and debates aimed at better understanding and communicating the needs of each party; and providing openly accessible materials such as written articles, research guides, current event listings, and a database of organisations that support these aims.

Publisher: UCL Press

Website: http://architecturemps.com/

Access: Open-access

Journal type: Academic peer-reviewed

Academic journals: Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space

Journal summary: Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space is an international journal of critical, heterodox, and interdisciplinary research into the relations between the political and the spatial. It advances debates on the spatialization of politics and the politicization of spatial relations. The journal includes original contributions that integrate empirical and theoretical analyses to engage, advance, challenge, and reframe debates about the political.
Politics and Space values a wide range of critical and radical perspectives and encourages new theorizations, novel methodologies, and decentring ontologies. It encourages research that engages marginalized and oppressed standpoints and critically engages hegemonic forms of power. The journal aims to push the boundaries and potential of research on the political and the spatial by exploring questions including: What is the status of the political in such research? How does thinking politics spatially help us understand pressing contemporary concerns in the world? And how can or should researchers act politically through their scholarship? The substantive scope of Politics and Space extends from urban politics to the politics of international institutions; from political economies of development and empire to political geographies of mobilities and identities; from geopolitics to the governance of environmental crises; and from the spatialities of states and sovereign power to the geographies of social justice.

Publisher: Sage

Website: http://journals.sagepub.com/home/epc

Access: Subscription; some open-access articles

Journal type: Academic peer-reviewed