The Politics of Cultural Policy in France
01 March 1999, France
Who governs France? The conventional, state-centred view of policy-making in France contrasts the apparent omnipotence of the French state with the weakness and fragmentation of interest groups and civil society. The Politics of Cultural Policy in France examines the decision-making process in an area often seen to exemplify the sovereign power of the French state - cultural policy. Its findings, based on detailed analysis of policy-making under the Socialist governments of 1981-6 and 1988-93, and drawing on interviews with more than 70 key policy-makers, point to a surprising and iconoclastic conclusion: the book suggests that public policy towards the arts was shaped less by an all-powerful state than by influential professional interest groups. The book will be of interest to students of French politics, European politics, public administration, public policy, French studies and cultural studies, and also to policy-makers in arts policy and ministries of culture in Europe and beyond.