Cultural governance as a conceptual framework

by Thomas Schmitt

Working Papers WP 11-02
January 2011
ISSN 2192-2357 (MMG Working Papers Print)

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This Working Paper introduces a specific concept of cultural governance as a research concept for the humanities and social sciences. As a preliminary step, it discusses the term “culture” and the concept of governance. This discussion will be preceded by general remarks regarding social science-orientated research on culture. The Kulturwissenschaften (German for Humanities) must deal with the fact that, as a result of the history of the term, a diversity of “culture” terms exist, both in academic disciplines and in public discourse. This should be systematically considered in any attempt to formulate a research concept for cultural governance. Based on a discussion of key thinkers concerned with the relationship of culture and society (Max Weber, Antonio Gramsci, Theodor W. Adorno, Clifford Geertz, Stuart Hall), and the regulation-of-culture-approach in British Cultural Studies, a research framework of cultural governance is unfolded in the paper. While this concept should be useful in many contexts of a social-science-orientated research on cultural phenomena (i. e. the governance of cultural diversity), an exemplary concretization is offered for the governance field of cultural heritage in closing.

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