Why Are Cultural Policy Decisions Communicated in Cool Cash?

Trine Bille, Adam Grønholm, Jeppe Møgelgaard

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    In this article, we analyze the role of the economic rationale in modern cultural policy decision communication and ask why it remains such an important factor, even though research has argued against it. Based on Luhmann’s system theory, we show how the economic rationale manifests itself in the cultural political communication as parasitic and complementary couplings, and how different communication forms are in play: the indirect, direct, and the both-and form. The point is to construct communicative positions in cultural policy. The positions involve the economic rationale in their own particular way and each of them offers themselves as a communicative platform which the culture politician can optionally step into and out of. The arts system stands out from other systems by not distinguishing itself in one single distinction and coding. In exactly this issue lies the communicative complexity which the communicating cultural politician faces and must handle. As our analysis shows, this complexity is handled by communicating within the economic rationale and coding, with the result that complexity is reduced.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Journal of Cultural Policy
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)238-255
    Number of pages18
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • Communication
    • Cultural institutions
    • Economic rationale
    • Luhmann's system theory
    • Structural couplings

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