We argue that the apparently successful implementation of the European Malta Convention (1992) in the Netherlands resulted in a relatively closed archaeological policy system, which separates ordinary people from experts. As a result, citizens were increasingly excluded from the archaeological process. The process of closure and exclusion is made visible by investigating Dutch amateur archaeologists and their changing roles within Dutch archaeology. Amateur archaeologists are a group of semi-experts often deemed essential to the quality of research and policy regarding archaeological heritage. Their marginalization after Malta caused discussion and frustration, undermining public support for the initial policy goal of the Malta Convention: conservation of archaeological heritage. Our analysis draws on recent academic debates concerning the policy-practice nexus in processes of Europeanization. Reducing negative side effects and re-targeting policies for greater efficacy and democracy requires insight into the pathways of implementation.
- Malta Convention
- amateur archaeology