Intellectuals and Cultural Policy
Edited by Jeremy Ahearne and Oliver Bennett, Centre for Cultural Policy Research, Warwick University, 2007, 256 pp.
Much has been written on the history both of intellectuals and cultural policy. Relatively little work has been done, however, on the specific relations between intellectuals and processes of cultural policy formation. In September 2005, the Centre for Cultural Policy Studies hosted a conference to explore this theme further. In particular, the conference aimed to examine the extent to which different national contexts had given rise to different conceptions, problematics and programmes. An international group of scholars on cultural and intellectual history across a number of historical periods and national contexts (Britain, Germany, France, Holland, USA, Canada, Russia, Hungary, Poland) were invited to contribute. A further aim was to explore the extent to which a comparative approach could be brought to shed light on the topic.
A collection of these papers has been published, edited by Jeremy Ahearne and Oliver Bennett.
Intellectuals and policy analysts might appear to inhabit two different worlds. Intellectuals aspire to articulate issues of universal concern; policy analysts attend to the detail of specific measures and programmes. How far do these common assumptions match up to reality? What happens when intellectuals engage with cultural institutions and the machinery of government? And how far is cultural policy connected to a history of ideas? The essays brought together in this book attempt to answer these questions. From the English Romantics to Lenin's wife, from Plato to Herbert Schiller - this book offers new insights into how intellectuals from Europe, Canada and North America have sought over time to assert their cultural values in public life.