Museums in Human Development

Museums in human development front cover

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  • Title: Museums in Human Development: The Place of Museums in a Globalised and Transforming World
  • Author(s): Conrad Gershevitch
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Inclusive Museum
  • Year: 2014
  • ISBN (pbk): 978-1-61229-249-6
  • ISBN (pdf): 978-1-61229-250-2
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Gershevitch, Conrad. 2014. Museums in Human Development: The Place of Museums in a Globalised and Transforming World. Champaign, IL: Common Ground Research Networks. doi:10.18848/978-1-61229-250-2/CGP.
  • Extent: 287 pages


Museums in Human Development attempts to answer four inter-related questions: What is happening to our world? Why is it happening? How can we think about and understand these first two questions? What are some solutions to the challenges posed by contemporary modernity? Museums in Human Development is a sweeping review of global trends and risks, a summary of approaches to understanding these trends, a study of civil society and those UN systems that incorporate heritage, sustainability, human rights, and distributive and cultural equity. It argues that cultural institutions, in particular museums, can provide the vectors of positive, transformative change for a world in crisis. New museology as a principle and the ecomuseum as a site share much in common with other inter-disciplinary approaches, such as urban planning and health promotion, which are approaches that respond to human necessities and the human condition in fair, consensual, flexible, sustainable, and creative ways. In the future—in a world that is increasingly urban, crowded, conflicted, resource poor, and where cultures, people, and faiths encounter each other as never before—museums can be sites of collective, democratic decision making, where information is sublimated into knowledge, global problems are faced at the local level, and the dehumanised is rehumanised.