The ex/inclusion paradox in heritage management: the Mobarak mosque in The Hague

Karim van Knippenberg*, Martijn Duineveld, Marleen Buizer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: In the field of critical heritage studies, it has often been argued that a more inclusive and participatory heritage management approach neutralises differences and can contribute to a more contemporary, plural, democratic and inclusive notion of heritage. Yet, the needs and aspirations of those assumed being excluded from heritage making are not always taken into account, because the analysis and critique often focussed on the dominant heritage discourses, organisations and institutions. This paper conceptualises heritage from below and explores and reconceptualises how subdominant notions of heritage relate to dominant, institutionalised conceptualisations of heritage. Design/methodology/approach: Based on a case study of the Mobarak mosque in The Hague, the authors present the multiplicity of subdominant conceptualisations of heritage, the ways heritage is (expected to be) recognised and represented by the community and the complexity of issues of social inclusion/exclusion. Findings: The authors conclude that inclusive and/or participatory heritage management practices are inclusive in name only when the needs and aspirations of those seemingly being “excluded” are not fully understood and taken into account. Originality/value: A binary heritage/non-heritage framework, the authors argue, is limited to understand matter that matters. Also the authors find that the assumption that there is a growing desire among local community groups to include their histories and related materialities as heritage in the dominant heritage discourse should be challenged.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-269
JournalJournal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2020


  • Authorised heritage discourse (AHD)
  • Heritage management
  • Minority groups
  • Social inclusion/exclusion


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