The cultural policies of the European Union : problems and prospects for cultural integration
The central theme of this study is the relationship between culture and polity in a transnational setting. The conceptualisation of culture-polity relationship has been largely dominated by the classical model of the nation-state in which officially sanctioned, territorially bounded culture is thought to generate among the population a sense of belongingness to a shared community, thereby strengthening legitimacy of the polity. The question, then, is whether such a strong, reciprocal link between political and cultural integration is being replicated at the level of the European Union. This study analyses the EU's cultural schemes encompassing education, audiovisual media as well as traditional arts, focusing on different and often conflicting views on culture advocated by various policy actors in which different visions of European society and governance are implicated. Through the systematic examination of specific EU cultural policy measures, the thesis puts forward two main arguments. Firstly, in the course of the development of EU cultural policy, the notion of culture modelled on state-sanctioned, unified national culture has given way to a focus on more market-oriented, pragmatic aspects of culture. Secondly, this change in the conceptualisation of culture is related to a new way of organising cultural spaces in which the networking and exchanges of cultural professionals and organisations play a central role. The thesis concludes that so far the EU has not had much success in articulating a viable model of culture which could reconcile the twin ideal of unity and diversity in the context of contemporary Europe.