Jurisdictional capacity and landscape heritage

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Title Jurisdictional capacity and landscape heritage: a case study of Malta & Gozo
Author(s) Godfrey Baldacchino
Journal Journal of Mediterranean Studies
Date 2007
Volume 17
Issue 1
Start page 95
End page 114
Abstract Amongst the citizens of the Mediterranean archipelagic state of Malta, the current broad understanding of landscape as heritage is that it is a key component of the tourism industry but somewhat dead and alien to daily modern life. In its material expression, heritage is tolerable and acceptable as long as it is functional; highly appreciated if appropriated as a private good; but insufferable if it clashes with private and individual interests, foremost amongst which is construction. Moreover, the relationship of the Maltese with the past is also disengaged, elusive and uncertain: they remain bereft of a unifying national consciousness that includes some general agreement about the salient features of their own history, thanks in part to a fierce, political factionalism. And yet, this paper argues that the Maltese may be energized to develop a better appreciation for their island and its past, if a stronger sense of national identity, and a 'progressive sense of place' are introduced. This would appear much more feasible on the smaller island of Gozo than on the main island of Malta. A virtuous cycle could develop between a stronger sense of pride in local landscape heritage as a working, living culture which in turn fosters sustainable development, both of these being driven by a securing and flexing of a stronger jurisdictional capacity.

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