Elective Topic A: Cultural Policy – Theory, Method & Analysis

Course content

This course gives a comprehensive introduction to the field of cultural policy and serves as a mandatory first part of the cultural policy subject. In this course students will gain insights into the different contours of ‘the culture of cultural policy’, ‘the policy of cultural policy’ and how these relate to the field of cultural production and consumption. Main theoretical approaches will be explained and particular attention will be given to the concept of public spheres and counter-publics, governmentality, power, discursive formations, control societies, nationalism, cosmopolitanism, cultural citizenship, the cultural industries and the experience economy. Amongst scholars informing these concepts are Jürgen Habermas, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Sara Ahmed, Kate Oakley, Anthony Smith, Evelyn Ruppert, Jose van Dijck, Chantal Mouffe, Ulrich Beck, Theodor Adorno and David Hesmondhalgh.


The first part of the course will lay the theoretical foundations while the latter part will be dedicated to methods and case studies. The main methods introduced and applied will be critical discourse analysis, qualitative interviews, focus groups, qualitative content analysis and observations. In terms of cases, the course will apply a spatial approach focusing on how cultural policy shapes structures within micro-, meso-, and macro spheres exemplified with urban, local and municipality cultural policies; the cultural policies of different nation-states; as well as cultural policy in supra-national settings such as that of the European Union, United Nations and the Council of Europe.


The goal of the course is to provide students with adequate tools to conduct research within the field of cultural policy. In this context the relations between theoretical framework, methodological design and analysis will be emphasised and applied on different cases of relevance to cultural policy. In order to pass this first part of the cultural policy module, students are therefore requested to do one mandatory assignment defined by the responsible teacher.


The course will be taught in English.




Moderne Kultur og Kulturformidling og Kunsthistorie

Students are asked to obtain the following textbook for the course:

Bell, David & Oakley, Kate. 2015. Cultural Policy. Routledge: London & New York.

Students are also asked to obtain a compendium that will be made ready before the semester starts.

The compendium includes, amongst others, the following texts:

Williams, Raymond. 1981. ”Towards a Sociology of Culture”. Culture. Fontana Press, London, pp. 9-32.

Habermas, Jürgen. 1992. ”Social Strutures of the Public Sphere”. Structural Transformations of the Public Sphere: An inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Polity Press, Cambridge, pp. 27-43 & 51-56.

Foucault, Michel. 2002. ”Governmentality”. Power: Essential works of Foucault 1954-1984. Volume 3. (James D. Faubion (ed.). Penguin Books, London, pp. 201-222.

Mouffe, Chantal. 1999. ”Deliberative Democracy or Agonistic Pluralism”. Social Research, 66 (3), pp. 745-758.




The cultural policy subject in the 2019 curriculum in Modern Culture is divided in two parts. The first part is mandatory for all students and consists of this course – Cultural Policy: Theory, method & analysis. In the second part, students choose one of the following three courses: Det moderne museum; Kampen om kunsten - Kulturpolitik og kunsttøtte i Danmark siden 1960’erne belyst gennem kunst i det offentlige rum; and Algorithmic ramifications: Cultural practices of the machine.

Type of assessment
All aids allowed
Censorship form
No external censorship
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 308
  • Exam
  • 84
  • English
  • 420