After considering the functions of capital cities this article argues that culture both as creative activity and as living heritage of customs and architectural assemblies plays a central role in the self-perception of present-day Berlin. The agents—public and private—that interact in the conception and execution of decisive initiatives in the remake of the city form an extensive cultural policy establishment. They derive their legitimation from regional and federal constitutions and from their command of attention in the public discourse. Berlin's claimed status as the most obvious German metropolis is not self-evident. Within the nation it is neither the center of finance, nor the media, nor the supreme courts. In Germany there are other towns and metropolitan regions with a similarly rich infrastructure that can compete at least nationally. But Berlin, building on Enlightenment traditions, is making a plausible effort in regaining its cosmopolitanism. Despite a host of problems, it is now surpassing the ethnic and cultural diversity that was lost in the years of Nazi dictatorship. Can it maintain its attraction for creative talent, both cultural and technological, in view of accelerating social divisions and gentrification?
Wilfried van der Will
Art as a Healthy Virus within Social Strategies of Resistance
The Egnatia Road project describes a cooperative action between European artists and local populations along the ancient route from Rome to Constantinople. Focusing on myths and memories of territorial and metaphorical displacement over centuries, it represents a space of resistance realized in narrative and physical action. The process of constructing the road engages artistic activism and local communities in creating a participatory cultural product. Begun as a road trip to the Balkans, the research in history, storytelling, and half-forgotten traditions has resulted in the creation of mobile laboratories and events involving a range of people and experiences. The ongoing intention has been to produce paving stones recording the personal and communal experiences of people along the road. As an exercise in public art, the project has raised new questions and insights into the nature of popular dissent and the role of art in giving it a voice in wider venues and situations.
This article attempts to show how the conventional opposition between art and culture, on the one hand, and administration and organization, on the other, has been displaced. The main reason given for this phenomenon is the convergence of the collapse of notions of the political and aesthetic causality of art and culture with the destabilizing effects of postmodernism on organizational and administrative stability. After a discussion of the emergence of political regimes of audit within relations between culture and administration, the article locates the causes of the dominance of 'cultural governance' within the dynamics of modernist aesthetic values such as autonomy. The article concludes with a discussion of some optimistic possibilities that may arise from this scenario.
At a time when European cities redefine themselves through 'culture' in an attempt to attract tourists, investors and potential residents, policymakers have to negotiate different notions of 'local culture' defined by state governments on the one hand and by the EU on the other. Drawing upon research conducted in the Polish city of Gdańsk in the context of the redevelopment of its urban landscape, the article illustrates how 'local culture' is redefined as 'culture of freedom' by municipal and state institutions in order to establish a relationship of historical continuity between the time when Gdańsk was a thriving multicultural city and the post-socialist present. The article puts forward the argument that while the reformulation of local culture as 'culture of freedom' involves reconciling notions of national identity with new norms of local, regional and European integration, it does not necessarily entail the supersession of nationalism.
Cultural Policy in the Making of Europe
This article considers the development of a European Union (EU) cultural policy and its role in the making of Europe. One of the aims of cultural policy is the fostering of specific identities. Although normally associated with the state—the community thus 'imagined' being typically the nation, with the nation-state the prime actor of interventions on cultural matters—in the last 20-30 years, decentralisation on the one hand and Europeanization on the other have undermined the state monopoly of cultural policies, calling for a reconsideration of their rationale, objectives, and reach. This article contributes toward such reconsideration, concentrating on the Europeanization dimension. It is based on an account of how the EU is gradually establishing a competence in the field of culture and on a closer investigation into how its framework program, Culture 2000, has been implemented and interpreted in a local context.
French Cultural Policies in Britain during the Second World War
The Second World War challenged the well-established circulation of cultural practices between France and Britain. But it also gave individuals, communities, states, and aspiring governments opportunities to invent new forms of international cultural promotion that straddled the national boundaries that the war had disrupted. Although London became the capital city of the main external Resistance movement Free France, the latter struggled to establish its cultural agenda in Britain, owing, on the one hand, to the British Council’s control over French cultural policies and, on the other hand, to the activities of anti-Gaullist Resistance fighters based in London who ascribed different purposes to French arts. While the British Council and a few French individuals worked towards prolonging French cultural policies that had been in place since the interwar period, Free French promoted rather conservative and traditional images of France so as to reclaim French culture in the name of the Resistance.
Claudie Bernard The Family in Crisis in Late Nineteenth-Century French Fiction by Nicholas White
Philip Nord Paris 1900: Essai d’histoire culturelle by Christophe Prochasson
Judith Vichniac Uneasy Asylum: France and the Jewish Refugee Crisis, 1933-1942 by Vicki Caron
Rosemary Wakeman The Situationist City by Simon Sadler
Herman Lebovics The Politics of Cultural Policy in France by Kim Eling
Frank R. Baumgartner How France Votes edited by Michael S. Lewis-Beck
Deborah Reed-Danahay La Culture des sentiments: L’expérience télévisuelle des adolescents by Dominique Pasquier
Arthur Goldhammer Le Monde des Débats
The European Civil Society Platform for Intercultural Dialogue
This article examines the development of cultural policy recommendations, in the form of “soft law,” by the Civil Society Platform for Intercultural Dialogue, a nascent European civil society collaboration aiming to make culture a separate political endeavor within the context of European integration. Drawing on fieldwork among European bureaucrats and members of European civil society in Brussels, Belgium, the article offers an alternative discussion from common understandings of soft law, paying close attention to law as an aesthetic form that challenges dominant modes of policy-making. An investigation of soft forms of law provides a useful perspective to those who attempt to define, locate, and create European identity.
Wolfgang Beck and Laurent J.G. van der Maesen
In this article we will focus on the political role of citizens in the ongoing process of European unification. The standard interpretations of unification suggest that this process is the outcome of a force of intrinsic necessity. Paving the way for the internal market, monetary and fiscal harmonisation should, therefore, lead to the formation of a political community. We do not accept such a post-Hegelian interpretation, however. This process is a consequence of chosen political priorities. In our opinion these should prioritise the development of political relations, referring to democratically based values in order to determine the starting points for economic, welfare and cultural policies. But, according to Fritz Scharpf, this has not been the case. The politics of the Union have paved the way for the free market system - mainly as a response to the principle of profit maximising - resulting in a decline, in the long run, of the politics with which to develop conditions for a political community.
The Politics of Marcel Pagnol's La Fille du puisatier
From late 1940 through mid-1942 Marcel Pagnol accommodated to varying degrees the demands of the Vichy regime and the German occupiers in order to ensure the survival of his film production business. In so doing, he placed himself in the ambiguous grey zone of thought and action that stretched between the poles of proactive collaboration and proactive resistance. Pagnol's wartime activities, especially the history of his film La Fille du puisatier (The Well-Digger's Daughter, 1940), offer insight into how material interest, ideology, and necessity shaped French industrialists' reactions to the Occupation. Pagnol's itinerary also reveals the compromise and conflict that often lay below the surface of Franco-German politics, while highlighting the importance that both regimes attached to cinema as a tool of economics, cultural policy, and propaganda.