Den kulturpolitiske dysfunktionalitet: Hvordan den kulturpolitiske debat diskvalificerer politisk styring

Martin Andreas Stigborg, Jens Gustav Aagerup & Christian Søndergaard Nielsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


In this thesis our interest is driven by a perceived lack of political cultural debate in Denmark. Both politicians and practitioners within the field tell tales of a derailed debate lacking substance. Meanwhile the Danish population is the number one country in the EU when it comes to consuming culture, however the subject is among the lowest rated come election time. Almost no one in Denmark votes based on culture politics. We try to understand how it has come to be this way. Our analysis engages with the semantics of the notion of culture from the formation of the Danish ministry of culture in 1961 to April2020, through Niklas Luhmann’s thoughts on systems theory in order to understand the premises of the political culture debate and how these have developed over time. This allows us to ultimately understand what shapes the cultural political debate as it emerges today, and on what premises it occurs.
We find that the debate appears weakened as a result of a number of premises established over time since 1961. We find the political system to be defunct because a political politicians emerge as a premise for the debate. This entails that politicians do not act as politicians regarding culture politics. Instead, decision making is delegated to different reasoning’s. Over time the artists or the commercial capabilities of the culture has emerged as decision making reasoning’s, as culture politics are not to be ruled by politicians with political motives. We argue that the apolitical nature of culture politics emerges as a hybrid form of governance, where the powerful is masked to look like the powerless. Meanwhile the citizens are de-legitimized by the practitioners, as they undervalue the citizens input on culture. This puts the checks and balances function between politicians and citizens out of order within the political system leading to an overall dysfunctionality and lack of policy made. In a final diagnosis, we argue that the political culture debate is heavily challenged by a few premises emerging since 1961. This weakens both the political culture debate and the legislative process within culture politics as the area has become gridlocked and the industry interest has become so reliant on the status quo.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages143