The Governmentalities of Cultural Policy in Europe: The Actors, Discourses and Formulations

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    • Presentation speakers
      • Zulal Fazlioglu Akin, Ohio State University, USA

    While the cultural dimension has always played a fundamental role in the nation-formation process, culture started to gain more importance in the political environment of Europe after World War II, and especially on the agendas of intergovernmental organizations. UNESCO was established in 1946 with the aim of “contribut[ing] to peace and security by promoting collaboration among the nations through education, science, and culture.” Founded in 1949, the Council of Europe (COE) designated culture to be an “essential component” of its mission to advance respect for human rights, the practice of democracy, and the rule of law. While the CoE had already promulgated the European Convention on Culture in 1954, the first instance when cultural policy was articulated within the EU was in the Treaty of Rome (1957), which described it as “a factor capable of uniting people and promoting social and economic development.” The cultural dimension has been prevalent since then in the political, social, and economic landscape of Europe. The COE, UNESCO, and the EU have become the key players affecting cultural policy discourses, practices, and actions in Europe. While national cultural policies both affirms and translates the principles and values of cultural policy in Europe, cultural policy-making/discourses is inextricably interwoven with the policies of these transnational institutions. Hence, while this paper examines how cultural policy discourses and practices are governed and mobilized by these symbolically, legally and politically powerful European institutions, the very concepts of democracy, citizenship, and foreignness are interrogated within the context of politicization of cultural policies.