From the culture of the king to the culture of the nation. French cultural policy from Louis XIV to the Revolution.
For André Malraux the purpose of cultural policy was to promote human sociability and French national identity by giving as many Frenchmen as possible access to the great works of art, and especially the French ones. He wanted to keep the influence of market forces at a distance. The purpose of this article is to give an historical perspective of the French tradition of strong ties between political power and the arts. Under Louis XIV the arts were subjugated to the purpose of securing obedience by celebrating the glory of the monarchy, particularly using Versailles as a cultural and social as well as a political instrument of power. Creating the royal academies was part of this strategy. This was, however, not solely a subjugation, but also a liberation from the medieval, economic framework of the guilds, creating a separate aesthetic sphere. In the 18th century this sphere would form the basis for autonomus aesthetic judgements, which would then be turned into moral and political judgements. The 18th century saw at first a resurgence of aristocratic power, symbolized aesthetically in the Fête galante immortalized by Watteau. Towards the end of the century a moralizing patriotic movement gained ascendancy, often adopting a critical stance against both monarchy and aristocracy. The ascendancy of stern patriotism, politically and aesthetically, reached its apogee in the radical phase of the French Revolution, symbolized in the twin roles of Jacques-Louis David as politician and leading artist. Under the Revolution we see the processes of both liberation and of a subjugation of art to politics more thorough than ever before. A lasting result of the French Revolution was to appropriate cultural objects as a national cultural heritage and turn them into subjects of pedagogy, especially through the establishement of public museums, archives and libraries.
France is often considered as a country that leads the way as an “exemplary country” in cultural policy. Scholars also talk about a specific “French Ministry of Culture Model”. In this article I discuss several characteristics of French cultural policy given by cultural policy researchers. Are these characteristics scientifically fruitful and/or valid? I have focused upon the following questions: (1) Is it true that France was the first country in Europe that established a ministry of culture; (2) how centralized is French cultural policy in reality; (3) how well founded is the conception that French cultural life is predominantly controlled by the Ministry of Culture, without any arm’s length between politics and the arts; (4) how powerful is the minister of culture personally, and is it still fruitful to talk about a “monarchistic” French cultural policy; (5) is it true that France has given high priority to culture in its government budgets since the establishment of a Ministry of Culture (1959), and that the cultural budget nearly doubled in 1982; (6) has French cultural policy generally disapproved of the “extended concept of culture”, and finally (7) was André Malraux really a great minister of culture?
In the article I describe and discuss the development of French cultural policy historically, keeping the abovementioned questions in mind. I draw lines back to the 19th and early 20th century, but I focus particularly upon the period between 1945 and 1990. The article concludes that several more or less taken-for-granted characteristics of French cultural policy are debatable and ready for modification.
Nøkkelord: Kulturpolitikk, kulturdepartement, sentralisering/desentralisering, armlengdesprinsippet, "monarkistisk" kulturpolitikk, "store prosjekter", utvidet kulturbegrep, kulturbudsjetter.
This article deals with French cultural policy from around 1960 to the early 1990s. Is point of departure is the establishment of a French ministry of culture and the first minister of culture, André Malraux, 1959. The roots of French cultural policy after World War II are traced back to the cultural programme of the Popular Front government in France the late 1930s and situated within the frames of UNESCO and Council of Europe initiatives after the war. In addition to an analysis of French cultural policy under the Malraux’ regime in the 1960s, the article presents an analysis of the writings and the role that the top bureaucrat for more than thirty years, Augustin Girard, played in French and international cultural policy from the early 1960s to the first half of the 1990s. There is a big paradox with Girard and French cultural policy: France is known for having a centralised state organisation, and this is also the case with cultural policy – the minister of culture and even some presidents «take it all». Decentralisation in many other European countries means «deconcentration» in France, i. e. instead of delegating decisional power to regional and local political bodies, the French state stretches out its arms by building state bureaucracies in the regions. It is therefore quite surprising that at the same time as he was a civil servant of a research unit in the French ministry of culture, Augustin Girard was a well known international spokesman for decentralisation, community culture, amateur culture and even cultural industries – and he was constantly criticising French intellectuals to be elitists in cultural questions. Internationally Girard was one of the strong fighters for cultural democracy and the «new cultural policy» of the 1970s. The article is finished by a brief analysis of the expanding cultural policy under Jack Lang in the 1980s, and concludes that French cultural policy has been resistant to rapid international changes, although in the later years even French cultural policy has to some extent been influenced by the winds of new liberalism. However, compared to England for example, the French state still plays the role of «the architect» in cultural policy.
Nøkkelord: Sentralisering, dekonsentrasjon, elitisme, kulturelt demokrati, ny kulturpolitikk.
Our essay addresses the way of thinking cultural policy that Augustin Girard was instrumental in working out and managing within the confines of UNESCO. This way of thinking lies behind the strategies of cultural policy of the industrialized countries in the period following the Second World War, which makes it legitimate to talk about a joint philosophy of cultural policy that transcends national borders. Girard’s basic philosophy and approach is that cultural policy needs to create the conditions for a decentralized and pluralistic ‘cultural democracy’ in which the individual can play an active part. Thus, we argue that the motivation and foundation for Girard’s way of thinking cultural policy is based on a democratic diagnosis of the present, which is implicit in his way of thinking and needs to be explicated and developed further. Departing form Girard’s Cultural development: experiences and policies we clarify what Girard’s way of thinking cultural policy involves and imply. Next, we address a distinct impression we have that Girard’s overarching democratic approach has been toned down to the advantage of the “managerial” aspect of his thinking. Our task in this part of the essay is to assess the instrumental aspect of Girard’s way of thinking and the ultimate purposes that motivates this way of thinking. The relation between these two aspects is unsettled in Girard. Thus, we ask whether Girard’s way of thinking isn’t itself a striking expression of the nihilism he combats, in that it furthers the very features of modernity that it wants to remedy, i.e. the progressive degradation of moral and social relation through processes of capitalization and instrumental rationality. The answer is that it is not, provided that his concern for cultural democracy and the development of a democratic culture is not forfeited.
Key words: Cultural development, Cultural policy, Cultural democracy, Cultural industry, Nihilism.
This essay investigates historical conditions of merging practices which connect academic research and cultural, artistic activities. In the first section, notions such as immaterial labour, cognitive capitalism, and accumulation cycle are introduced and these terms are set in relation to dialectics of space. The concept of Converging Space, proposed in the second section of the article, signifies an unstable space by the side of capitalism’s incorporation of immaterial labour and institutionally ordered social relations. University and regional cultural policy in Western Sweden are two specific cases which further clarify the notion of converging spaces. In the third section, exile, conceived as a multi-layered semantic field, serves to designate mobility and mobilization across contemporary segregative urban landscapes and hence constantly exposed to the dialectics between material space, the institutionalized space and the flux of labour and commodities. The final and concluding part of the essay discusses the intersections between immaterial labour, exile as a semantic field outside accumulation cycles and local, transient organizational forms which open up a space for emerging practices.
Late modern society seems to be inescapably permeated by a conflict between universalizing and particularizing dynamics. The article discusses this basic condition from the perspective of late modern identity formation and its implications for the development of democratic politics. A critical discussion of a number of prominent positions in the theoretical debate on identity opens the argument. In the wake of this critical discourse, an alternative position based on contemporary critical theory is suggested, and the potentials and risks of late modern identity work are outlined in relation to the perspective of democratic civil society. The article concludes that identity-based processes of politicization are fragile and unpredictable, but that they nevertheless form necessary preconditions for creating and maintaining the necessary popular engagement in developing universal democratic civil society. Finally, the potentials and limitations of a European cultural policy in relation to the characteristics of late modern identity work are briefly discussed.
In the article our aim is to analyse theoretically the questions:
(1) what is the relevance of institutional approach in research about cultural policy and cultural institutions, and
(2) how do the modern cultural institutions change.
Cultural policy and cultural institutions cannot escape the strong mechanisms for change in their environments. The continuous urge to change and adapt to new conditions causes dynamics and instability and permanence in the institutions. Our empirical references concerning Nordic countries is twofold: On one hand we consider cultural policy making as an institutional formation taking place in concrete historical contexts; on the other we refer to cultural institutions in a traditional sense. By analysing institutionalist theories we will present reflections on what might be the contribution of this theoretical tradition to understand and explain developments in cultural policy making and in traditional cultural institutions. We ask if Nordic cultural policy has proven its resilience to globalization and neoliberalism in spite of the economic crisis of the 1990s. The main idea is that the concept of path dependency can be used as an explanation for cultural policy resilience. – In the analysis one argument is that the Nordic model has been changed in a liberal direction, but changes are not significant enough to replace the original model. We argue that the Nordic model is still far less resilient towards changes that lead to a less on public funding based cultural policy towards more marked based ideas. However, after the economic crisis was over at the end of the 1990s, some of the things been changing. For example, more public funding is targeted to support instrumentalisation of art and culture to strengthen national economic competitiveness.