Many scholars today are discussing whether cultural heritage can serve as a resource for urban and rural revitalization, as well as tourism, and enterprise development. Some anthropologists have criticized the previous research on the authenticity and subjectivity of cultural heritage. Others point out that the cultural heritage of historical cities, towns, and villages is undergoing various kinds of transformations, which raises difficult questions about how to explain and respond to the modernization of cultural heritage. This panel invites scholars from around the world to search for new analytical frameworks for studying the dynamic interaction between cultural heritage, social change and development. We want to discuss the explanatory potentials of different analytical frameworks that address the following two major questions: (1) how do different modern societies and their state institutions determine the boundary between the traditional and the modern when they define cultural heritage, and (2) how can traditional cultural heritage and modernization be understood in a theoretically more integrated way than they seem to be at present, which would lead to more consistent and balanced policy and practice?