1. Cultural policy-making in western European democracies and elsewhere takes place in an overlapping zone between culture and politics, where agents from different social fields negotiate about cultural policies.
2. The agents of the field of culture and the arts claim that cultural production should happen on the basis of individual and institutional autonomy, while the agents of politics and public management are concerned with political interests, fair administration, rule by law, and economic transparency.
3. The overlapping zone is laden with tensions due to the different rationalities of the participating agents, and negotiations in this zone deeply affect the democratic interests of cultural producers, mediators, and citizens.
The article "Cultural policy-making: negotiations in an overlapping zone between culture, politics and money" by Bengtsson provides a theoretical analysis of the intersection between culture and politics in the context of cultural policy-making. The author argues that cultural policy-making takes place in an overlapping zone between the cultural field and the field of politics, public administration, and economy. This zone is characterized by tensions arising from different rationalities and interests represented by the agents involved.
The article presents two opposing views on culture and cultural policy: the elitist approach, which considers culture as exceptional and prioritizes high culture, and the popular approach, which sees culture as ordinary and inclusive of everyday life. The author argues that while both approaches have their merits, they are too vague to provide a clear definition of what constitutes cultural policy.
The article draws on Pierre Bourdieu's theoretical framework to develop a model for understanding the overlapping zone between culture and politics. According to Bourdieu, social fields are structured by power relations among agents who compete for resources such as prestige, recognition, and economic capital. In this context, cultural policy-making involves negotiations among agents from different social fields who bring their own interests, values, and arguments to the table.
While the article provides a useful theoretical framework for understanding cultural policy-making, it has some limitations. For example, it focuses primarily on western European democracies after World War II and does not consider other regions or historical periods. Additionally, it does not explore counterarguments or alternative perspectives on cultural policy-making.
Furthermore, there is a potential bias towards high culture in the article's analysis of cultural policy objectives in European countries. While it acknowledges that some countries prioritize economic aspects of the cultural industries, it suggests that classical high culture still holds a hegemonic position in present-day cultural policy-making. This may overlook efforts to promote diversity and inclusivity in cultural policies.
In conclusion, Bengtsson's article offers a valuable theoretical framework for understanding cultural policy-making in the overlapping zone between culture and politics. However, it has some limitations and potential biases that should be taken into account when interpreting its findings.