Cultural policy is used to promote accountability and protect different forms of culture, including cultural goods that society promote or receive as legacy from previous generations, and which are the cumulative result of artistic creation, values and beliefs that the community shares.
In the second half of the twentieth century with the development of the welfare state, a new social challenge was created, to improve and give access to culture; this manifested itself in the development of policies for the promotion of the arts and protection of cultural heritage. The debate since then, has been to find reasons and limitations on public action in the field of culture (who should receive public assistance), and also what must be the most appropriate procedure for allocation of public resources. More recently, the debate is broader: first, the very activity of artists and cultural agents now often requires a technical, administrative, outreach and other more sophisticated support structure. In recent years, the cultural sector has greatly diversified (a process stimulated in many cases by new information and communication technologies, the globalization of markets for cultural products and especially the rise in entertainment products) and become a more important sector in the whole economy and society. Therefore, cultural activity needs increasingly, the support of an organizational structure, rather complex logistics, and the involvement of different public and private actors - but above all, it needs to be integrated in an ambitious and clear cultural policy to be effective.
At the same time, global trends are seeing much more interest by cultural operators in developing trans-border approaches to culture – understanding the political, social and economical climate of international engagement is an important step to effective international cultural action.
In this changing context, the aim of this course will focus on identifying the institutional and organizational framework determining cultural action, studying how the industry involves different public and private stakeholders and analysing the planning process through which cultural policies meet targets and result in projects, programs and concrete actions.
The course has the following objectives:
- Familiarise the student with the basic concepts of cultural policies, instruments and agents involved.
- Understand the diversity of policy models, instruments and agents, and the richness of their interventions.
- Understand and position current debates about cultural policy.
- Obtain a deeper understanding of the wider implementation of cultural policies and institutions that develop them for economic, social and/or political purposes.