Cultural Policies in France: Reprint

La Documentation Français,
01 June 2002, France

La Documentation Français has reprinted 'Les politiques culturelles en France', its anthology of French cultural policies edited by Philippe Poirrier, which was first published in June 2002. ‘Culture is not made to order, it is self-created, self-sustaining and self-renewing in a plurality of social practices’, writes Poirrier in the introduction to the anthology. The selected texts, which include laws and regulations, speeches, writings by senior public servants, and administrative reports, are preceded by a short, highly informative historical presentation. Cultural policies were first introduced during the French Revolution as a result of the government’s efforts to regenerate society. At the same time, the notion of national heritage was conceived and the question of creative freedom was raised. Since 1789 until the present day, governments have been constantly redefining culture and its role. This permanency is what has made the French model of state administration of culture an international reference, even though a ‘reshaping’ of cultural policies now appears to be necessary, as is discussed by Jacques Rigaud in the preface. While the above developments are presented in precise chronological order, a thematic index makes the book an extremely useful reference work. For information in French and to order, click here For a review in German, click here