Cultural Policy and Cultural Diversity: Mapping the Policy Domain
by Tony Bennett
Council of Europe Publishing, Cultural Policies Research and Development Unit,
Policy Note 7, Strasbourg, 2001, 75 pp.,
Cultural Policy and Cultural Diversity: mapping the policy domain is a booklet issued by the Cultural Policies Research and Development Unit of the Council of Europe, which derives from a larger study of the relations between cultural policy and cultural diversity in seven countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Luxembourg, Switzerland and the United Kingdom) that was conducted between 1999 and 2000. This policy note includes the research position papers that were prepared by independent experts to provide specialist advice on selected aspects of the relations between cultural policy and cultural diversity. It identifies and reviews the more general issues arising out of the participating countries' experiences in developing and implementing cultural diversity policies.
Cultural diversity, in all its forms, poses a profound challenge to traditional formulations of cultural policy, and to our understanding of the public interests served by this policy. In most countries, the artistic and cultural landscape has not evolved sufficiently to reflect the realities of a changed social landscape. This rift threatens to undermine the legitimacy of cultural institutions and the public policy that supports them.
The book is divided into six sections beginning with the perspective of cultural citizenship. The section on Culture and Diversity, outlines the case for 'differentiating diversities' by suggesting the need for ethnically-marked forms of cultural diversity to be accorded specific attention while, at the same time, recognising the significance of their relations to the broader agendas of cultural diversity. The relationship of this case to the policy note's specific focus on those forms of cultural diversity associated with post-war migration and the long-standing claims to the difference of sub- or multinational, autonomous, and indigenous cultural minorities is outlined.
The section on The Challenge of Diversity, identifies the different ways in which sub- or multinationalist, autonomous, diasporic and indigenous claims to cultural diversity challenge the strong tendency of nations to construct themselves as homogenizing cultural formations governed by the logic of one people, one culture, one history.
In the section Culture, Government and Diversity: Policy Contexts, the civic, administrative, social, economic and conceptual contexts in which cultural diversity policies are developed, are reviewed. The implications of these contexts are discussed as well.
The range of specific policy instruments through which arts and cultural ministries and related agencies seek to promote cultural diversity, such as arts funding, employment and training policies, the regulation of broadcast and other media, is the topic of the fifth section, Cultural Policies and Cultural Diversity.
The final section, Cultural Diversity, Citizenship and Cultural Democracy, brings together the varied strands of arguments developed in the earlier sections, and reviews the prospects for the future development of cultural diversity. It places issues in the context of broader debates about the relations between cultural diversity, cultural democracy and cultural citizenship, and stresses the need for these to be seen as additions to social and political citizenship.
To obtain the book, please contact: Council of Europe Publishing, F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex, France; tel.: +33 (0)3 8841 2581; fax: +33 (0)3 8841 3910; e-mail: email@example.com or
Cultural Policies Research and Development Unit, Cultural Policy and Action Department, Council of Europe, F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex, France; fax: +33 (0)3 8841 3782; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://book.coe.int
Decentralisation: Trends in European Cultural Policies
by Ilkka Heiskanen
Council of Europe Publishing, Cultural Policies Research and Development Unit, Policy Note 9, Strasbourg, 2001, 63 pp.,
Decentralisation: trends in European cultural policies is a booklet issued by the Cultural Policies Research and Development Unit of the Council of Europe, which clearly explains concepts, forms, strategies, trends and contexts of decentralisation. The diverse nature and scope of the debate about decentralisation makes clear that there can hardly be a universal model for the ideal degree of cultural decentralisation. National and international concerns vary depending upon dominant ideologies and upon the strength of different sectoral and group interests. Striking the 'right balance' between centralism and decentralisation is not an end in itself. Instead, of prime importance are the consequences of any decentralist policy: namely their costs and benefits for cultural production, distribution, decision-making and for their citizens.
Taking into account the complexities of the decentralisation issue, this Policy Note provides an overview of its principles, processes and structures, and therefore offers both the general and more knowledgeable reader a brief and useful introduction to one of the key questions of European cultural policy. Thus, it examines various country profiles labelling them accordingly. Nordic countries are examples of 'accumulative decentralisation', France, an example of 'seesaw decentralisation', United Kingdom, is known as 'centrally guided decentralisation', Germany, 'pret-a-porter decentralisation' and decentralisation in new democracies. The last seems to be particularly interesting since the new democracies of central and eastern Europe faced the issue of cultural policy decentralisation at a rather early stage of their reform process. This transition has not been easy and a need for information and training in this field is greatly needed from 'western neighbours' and international organisations such as the Council of Europe.
The issue of cultural decentralisation in new democracies emerged in the context of three problems:
- Organising the role of artists' associations in respect to their autonomy, social and economic functions and channels to influence cultural policy decision-making;
- Solving the problems of the 'ownership' of cultural and art institutions (both in terms of legal status and the ownership of premises);
- Negotiating, legislating and institutionalising the division of responsibilities for financing the arts and culture between different levels of government.
In conclusion, the author sums up the current state of decentralisation in European cultural policy with trends and consequences as well as with new conditions, new controls and new balances. Concerning trends, the central role of local/municipal decision-making and administration seems to be generally accepted and well established. The idea of regional autonomy seems to be gaining ground. Horizontal decentralisation exhibits some difficult dilemmas. The geographical concentration of the arts and culture in capitals and other metropolitan centers continues in all regions of Europe.
The future of decentralisation depends in the final analysis on one basic factor: the opening of bottom-up channels of communication and influence from the grassroots and sub-local levels. These lines must run unobstructed to autonomous local and regional decision-making groups - be they located in national capitals, urban conglomerates, or in Brussels itself.
To obtain the book, please contact: Council of Europe Publishing, F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex, France, tel.: +33 (0)3 8841 2581; fax: +33 (0)3 8841 3910; e-mail: email@example.com or
Cultural Policies Research and Development Unit, Cultural Policy and Action Department, Council of Europe, F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex, France; fax: +33 (0)3 8841 3782; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
List of Documents / Liste de Documents
Cultural Policy and Action Department of the Council of Europe, Strasbourg, 2002, DGIV/CULT(2002)1 rev.
The Council of Europe has issued a new List of Documents which represents a selection of some documents produced by the Cultural Policy and Action Department. The documents are categorised under General Documentation; Cultural Policies Development in Member States; Assistance and Development; New Technologies; and Other Projects.
To obtain the List, please contact: Cultural Policy and Action Department, Directorate of Culture and Cultural Heritage, Council of Europe, F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex, France; fax: +33 (0)3 8841 3782; e-mail: Cultural.Policies@coe.int