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Workshop Description (European proposal)

PACTE Institut d’études politiques de Grenoble

NB : This proposal is a synthesis drawed from the findings of two sources : the « Eurocult 21 Project » which gathered the experiences of 21 european cities (see Eurocult 21 Integrated Report, Brussels, Eurocities, 115 p.) and the European colloquim organized in Grenoble 28-29 May 2009 by Observatoire des Politiques culturelles and the research center PACTE –University of Grenoble.

What is at stake in redefining cultural policies in Europe ?

As a dimension of both human activity and a platform for public and private intervention, “culture” has seen major transformations. Globalisation, the impact of “new” technologies on its production, distribution or “consumption”, the muddying of traditional distinctions (elite or popular culture; local culture, national or universal culture; artistic production and cultural expressions) and the emergence of relatively new themes (such as cultural diversity and multiculturalism) are challenges both for those seeking involvement in this area, but also for all those who, by observing it, are seeking to better understand our contemporary world.

Accordingly, the social sciences have sought to report on the cultural dynamics at work within our European societies. They have explored different avenues, through their analysis of cultural practices, the cultural economy, the transformation of artistic forms and the political and cultural challenges and transformations facing public action in this area. Within this framework, the territorial aspect is today an important one. This is to do with understanding how the local authorities have become standard bearers of the challenges of cultural policies. From a culture point of view, how do territorial policies participate in fulfilling individuals and helping them to share the experience of cultural diversity and dialogue between cultures? How do cultural policies, the culture “industry”, the market and civil society contribute to these challenges at local, European and international levels? What are the crossovers between the cultural, educational, social and economic fields? What new questions have been raised by European research on the interaction between culture, territories and society?