ERICarts European Institute for Comparative Cultural Research


Comparing Cultural Policies and Systems of Governance/Management

Several major comparative research projects of the ERICarts Institute have explored the increasingly complex nature of culture as a separate domain of policy making.

The results of its projects have shown that, in the past fifteen years, the boundaries of culture as a policy field have been opened beyond support for artistic creation.  Cultural policy makers can no longer ignore a broader agenda of cultural development. This more open concept at the base of culture policy development implies:

  • the participation of a wide range of decision-makers, promoters and managers in the creation, production, distribution, preservation, management and consumption of culture and artistic creativity at all levels of society.
  • a host of institutions and regulatory frameworks to support such a broadened system of governance for culture.

In management terms, this means that governance is carried out through networks, forums, institutions and administrative systems.  This does not necessarily suggest a "bureaucratic" style of policy implementation but one which is flexible and open to new innovations.

Cultural policy makers in Europe also find themselves in the position of navigating between policy fields which regulate the (global and local) markets for cultural goods and services and the information society.  They have to consider the changing employment status, working practises and mobility of artists.  More recently, they are to address one of the inherent contradictions which lie at the heart of many national cultural policies:  to preserve and promote national identity while simultaneously pursuing principles of cultural diversity and encouraging transnational exchanges.

No one says it better than Carl-Johan Kleberg: "Policy makers and policy planners need to be helped!"  Clearly they require better and more information on a range of issues which necessitates the establishment of closer ties and exchange with the research community who can provide them with a knowledge base to inform their work; what some may today call "knowledge transfer and uptake". This places great importance on:

1) the regular collection of basic policy relevant information and data; and

2) reliable and timely comparative cultural policy research and analysis (which is, of course, dependent on the value of the first).

These activities are at the heart of the work carried out by the ERICarts Institute and continue to be supported by a "flagship project" that is  deleveloped and continuously updated jointly with the Council of Europe: the "Compendium of Cultural Policies &Trends in Europe" (www.culturalpolicies.net).




Related ERICarts Projects

Structural Funds: The Contribution of Culture to Local and Regional Development

The European Folk Culture (Policies) Project

The Status of Artists in the European Union

European Cultural Cooperation / G2CC

Council of Europe/ERICarts, "Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe"

Creative Europe: The Governance and Management of Artistic Creativity in Europe

Cultural Policy Objectives and Measures in the Evolving European Information Society

All Talents Count:  A Pilot Study on National Cultural Policies and Measures Supporting Cultural Diversity 

Creative Artists, Market Developments and State Policies in Europe

Women and Cultural Policies


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