Over the years we have identified a number of Theses about World Heritage which are available on the Web eg "Preserving the heritage of humanity? Obtaining world heritage status and the impacts of listing"
by Bart J.M. van der Aa (2005. University of Groningen) see http://dissertations.ub.rug.nl/faculties/rw/2005/b.j.m.van.der.aa/
We have a section titled "Resources" on this Web site which was set up to contain details of books and dissertations etc about WHS but it predated this Forum so I have taken the opprotunity to set up this additional Forum Topic as a reference point for such matters. Such Theses will of course vary in their quality and interest but may well contain insights, analyses and comments of interest to us - and we can always indicate our personal views on them!
The stimulus to do so was another Thesis I have just come across "Questioning the implementation of the World Heritage Convention : A value -based analysis of purposefully sampled Nomination Dossiers"
by Sophia Labardi (2005. University of London). She must have got her PhD as she is currently "Dr Labadi" a lecturer in Heritage at the University of Kent (UK). See http://www.kent.ac.uk/secl/classics/staff/labadi.html
It is VERY long (356 pages!!) and I personally didn't find the statistical aspects to be of much value. It is of course a bit "out of date" now as well. However, I did find of use and interest its description of the nature and stated/unstated reasons for changes in the Operational Guidelines/OUV definitions over the years. But that aspect of it is provided as "background" information and the document's prime purpose is the analysis of a large sample of the actual Nomination dossiers of Cultural sites to identify the "Values" which they claim for their sites. In so doing, the concept of "Value" is unpacked across time and cultures. Many of these Nomination Files from the early years are not of course available on the UNESCO web site so we have not had access to some of the detail which Dr Labadi gained access to (she had the assistance of the WH Centre). I found some of the quotes from them of interest as well as some of the conclusions drawn. On the down-side, as well as the (to me) spurious accuracy of the statistical aspects was the (to me!) excessive background agenda of continually identifying failures to adequately support feminine/disabled rights, recognise the role of the Working classes, non Europeans, indigenous groups, local populations etc etc.
If you have a few evenings to spare the thesis is here - http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/1348987/1/430861_vol1.pdf