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Classical theories of conservation are well known in the heritage community, but in the last two decades thinking has shifted, and classical theory has faced increasing criticism. Contemporary Theory of Conservation brings together current ideas in conservation theory, presenting a structured, coherent analysis of the subject for the first time. This engaging and readable text is split into 3 parts. The first, Fundamentals of conservation, addresses the identity of conservation itself, and problems arising when classical conservation theories are applied. The second part, Questioning classical theories, delves deeper into the criticism of classical ideas such as reversibility. This leads on to the creation of new paradigms such as sustainability, which are covered in the final part of the book, Conservation ethics.