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Well-developed in the context of climate change, the concept of adaptive capacity has so far not been applied extensively to the study of World Heritage management. This paper applies the analytic framework of adaptive capacity to better understand how institutional attributes enable or hinder systemic adaptation in managing World Heritage sites as boundaries of practice expand due to changing concepts of heritage and emerging management challenges. Drawing upon case studies from Southeast Asia, the study proposes a refined framework with the following dimensions of adaptive capacity: cognitive frames, learning capacity, resources, formal governance measures, organizational relationships, and agency.
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