8th International Conference on Cultural Policy Research
The start of the busy fall season was marked by the 8th International Conference on Cultural Policy Research, held in Hildesheim, Germany on 9-12 September 2014. According to the Conference Reader, 468 participants registered for the conference, and 309 papers were presented, which makes this the largest ICCPR up to now, and testifies to the ever growing interest in cultural policies establishment and research. Four researchers from the Culturelink Team participated in the conference, with papers on access to culture and perspectives of globalism.
Three types of sessions were organized to accommodate such a large number of speakers and diversity of themes brought forward for discussion:
- Thematic sessions (22 sessions devoted to various issues, such as Knowledge and Strategy: Cultural Policy Research and its Impact on Long-term Policy Planning; Measuring and Monitoring of Arts and Culture on the African Continent. Towards the ARTERIAL Network African Arts and Culture Index; Citizen Participation in Decision-making Process of Local Cultural Policy, etc.),
- Paper sessions (195 published abstracts presenting a very wide range of different aspects and interests in cultural policy research), and
- Semi-plenary sessions meant to organize discussion around three issues: 1. Cultural Policies and Processes of Transformation (A. Understanding Concepts, B. Understanding Structures); 2. Cultural Policies and Arts Education (A. Art for Art's Sake? Debate on Different Patterns of Legitimizing Arts Education and Consequences for Cultural Policy; B. Partnerships between Schools and the Professional Arts Sector. International Perspectives); 3. Cultural Policy and Participation (A. Audience Development and Participation in Developing Arts Institutions; B. Participation in Cultural Planning and Cultural Community Development)
The conference gathered researchers from 68 countries of Europe, the Arab world, Africa, East and Southeast Asia, Latin and North America. Such a diversified attendance combined with an extreme diversification of themes and issues discussed clearly shows that a global proliferation of cultural policies is under way, and that communication and exchange of information on cultural policy research has become both conceptually and organizationally a very demanding enterprise. In this respect 'the core concept of culture has indeed many consequences for the policy sector', and the problem of 'policy ambiguity … (is) endemic to the sector' (C.J. Gray). Notwithstanding the character of 'the sector', cultural policy research has indeed gone global, while the communication on cultural policies research and practices might need to be organized ever more effectively. It remains to be seen whether and how the 8th ICCPR2014 conference has contributed to this aim through its optimal openness and flexibility.