Cultural Governance and the Crisis of Financial Capitalism


  • Jean-Louis Fabiani Central European University, Budapest, Hungaria/EHESS, Paris, France



Cultural policy, creative society, neo-liberalism, democracy crisis, capitalism


Cultural policies in Europe were designed, albeit in significantly different ways national and ideological lines, as an additional component of the Welfare State. They were supposed to bring about democracy in cultural consumption by removing the obstacles on the road to giving access to symbolic goods. Since the ‘80s and the neo-liberal turn, this democratic imperative has declined, and was even labeled a complete failure, and new goals for cultural policy emerged: developing the conditions for a creative society, supporting city branding, and encouraging private sponsorship. This change in political justification created new contradictions and some disenchantment among the professionals who were, in growing numbers, employed in the cultural sector. The current crisis of capitalism has two main consequences. Shrinking budgets add new limits on cultural policy as culture tends to be identified as a “supplement of soul” when basic needs are no longer addressed and new claims for full democratic access to cultural resources.


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Theme: Capitalism: Current Crisis and Cultural Critique