Date of Submission

Fall 12-6-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in International Conflict Management (Ph.D. INCM)

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Volker Franke, PhD

Committee Member

Tyler Collette, PhD

Committee Member

Teresa Raczek, PhD

Committee Member

Charity Butcher, PhD


The World Heritage Program and nomination process have undergone considerable criticism regarding their impact on host nations. These critics have often described violence as an unintended side-effect of heritage sites, but this research has lacked a systematic analysis of types of violence associated with the inscription of sites. The background to this study explores the application of Galtung’s Triangle of Violence, which considers the symbiotic dynamics of cultural violence, structural violence, and direct violence. In so doing, I constructed the Measures of Structural Violence matrix by which to examine direct and structural violence in states that host heritage sites.

Using quantitative analysis, this dissertation offers a generalizable view of the impact of World Heritage site inscription on direct and structural violence. While previous research examined this relationship through anthropological/ethnographic case studies, this research provides systematic and generalizable findings regarding the impact of inscription by considering contextual factors such as geographic region, host nation income level, form of government, and type (cultural or natural) of site. For established world heritage sites, whether a site has been inscribed becomes a moderator for pre-inscription and post-inscription measures of violence. The results partly confirm the findings of world heritage critics, that inscription can increase violence. However, the findings also reveal contextual variations that allow for a better understanding of what combination of contextual factors promote peace or provoke violence in host nations.

The results suggest much attention should be paid to factors of social resilience in consideration of site inscription. Additionally, contexts such as region and income group are important and suggest that a priori research be done regarding the existing state of resilience to address factors which may mitigate the impact of inscription.