Introduction The concept of a common heritage of humanity has a universal appeal and seems to fit naturally with the development of global and other supranational institutions since World War II. The potential of such a common heritage lies primarily in its reinforcement of concepts of human equality, common des­ tiny, shared stewardship of the earth, optimal use of scarce natural and cul­ tural resources, and the consequent imperative of peaceful coexistence. It is an explicit challenge to chauvinistic extremism in the glorification of national heritages which have too often been harnessed to wider policies of national aggrandizement as an accessory to conflict and destruction. This continues to manifest itself (as in the former Yugoslavia) but its historical apogee was in Nazi Germany. It is thus appropriate that the global organization founded in the context of Nazi defeat, the United Nations - through its agency, UNESCO - should come to champion the concept of global heritage as an important adjunct to its development of other institutions fostering interna­ tional security. This chapter begins with a discussion of the global manage­ ment of heritage and examines the reasons why the continental heritage initiatives discussed in Chapter 10 should be consonant with and implicitly supportive of it. We analyse the case for a global heritage, before turning to a consideration of its limits and indeed its contestation. Finally, two case stud­ ies are used to discuss the problems and prospects of global heritage.