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The democratic value of participation in Swedish cultural policy
University of Borås, Faculty of Librarianship, Information, Education and IT.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4331-4950
2019 (English)In: Comunicação & Sociedade, ISSN 0101-2657, E-ISSN 2175-7755, Vol. 36, p. 81-99Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Through an exploration of Swedish cultural policy, this article analyses how policy legiti-mates its support for the arts and culture, and how “participation” is made meaningful in this process, to discuss how different understandings of culture and participation relate to changing notions of democratic governance in culture. The article discusses how an overarching discourse of culture as good, and therefore an interest in and responsibility for policy, can be understood as two discourses: 1) culture is good as it enables good things and 2) culture is good as it prevents bad things. These two discourses rest on different logics and “fixate” the concept of participa-tion in different ways but are constructed as if they were compatible. The meaning of democratic governance in culture is also differently interpreted in the two discourses – as either protection of autonomy, equality in access to culture, and participation as taking part, labelled a corporatist democracy, or as guaranteeing sustainable societies at risk, and participation as an equal pos-sibility to influence, labelled populist democracy. This break in discourse is interpreted as a sign of diminishing legitimacy of a corporatist discourse of democracy where experts have had the power to decide the content of cultural policy. The article partakes in a discussion on the role of participation and democracy in cultural policy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 36, p. 81-99
Keywords [en]
corporatism, discourse analysis, policy analysis, populism
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-22660DOI: 10.17231/comsoc.36(2019).2346OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-22660DiVA, id: diva2:1388039
Projects
Deltagardrivna processer i offentlig verksamhet, Kulturförvaltningen Göteborgs stad
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, RMP17-0979:1Available from: 2020-01-23 Created: 2020-01-23 Last updated: 2020-02-04Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttps://doi.org/10.17231/comsoc.36(2019).2346

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Lindström Sol, Sofia

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