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When Cultural Policies Change

Comparing Mexico and Argentina

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Elodie Bordat-Chauvin

How can change in cultural Policy be explained? Through a comparative and historical analysis, this research sheds new light on the emergence, institutionalization and transformation of the cultural policies of two major Latin American countries: Mexico and Argentina.
Elodie Bordat-Chauvin’s investigation is based on the material gathered in ethnographic fieldwork conducted between 2008 and 2010. It gathers observations, unique archive material and more than ninety semi-directive interviews with the majority of Secretaries of Culture in office between 1983 and 2010, several intellectuals, interest groups leaders, cultural managers and members of unions who all played a role in these countries’ cultural policies in the last thirty years.
This work challenges the common assertions that Mexican cultural policy is characterized by inertia and Argentinean cultural policy by instability. It analyses factors of changes – such as the neo-liberal turn, transnationalization, decentralization and politico-institutional changes – and their consequences – including reductions in cultural budgets, transformations in cultural industries and modifications in the balance of power between national, subnational, public and private actors.
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ENCATC IS THE LEADING EUROPEAN NETWORK ON CULTURAL POLICY AND MANAGEMENT. It is a membership NGO gathering over 100 higher education institutions and arts and cultural organisations in over 40 countries. ENCATC was created in 1992 to encourage the exchange of knowledge, methodologies, experiences, comparative research and regular assessment of the sector’s training needs in the broad field of cultural management from a European point of view through a wide range of working groups, projects, activities and events. ENCATC holds the status of an NGO in official partnership with UNESCO, of observer to the Steering Committee for Culture of the Council of Europe, and is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

HOW CAN CHANGE IN CULTURAL POLICY BE EXPLAINED? Through a comparative and historical analysis, this research sheds new light on the emergence, institutionalization and transformation of the cultural policies of two major Latin American countries: Mexico and Argentina.

Elodie Bordat-Chauvin’s investigation is based on the material gathered in ethnographic fieldwork conducted between 2008 and 2010. It gathers observations, unique archive material and more than ninety semi-directive interviews with the majority of Secretaries of Culture in office between 1983 and 2010, several intellectuals, interest groups leaders, cultural managers and members of unions who all played a role in these countries’ cultural policies in the last thirty years.

This work challenges the common assertions that Mexican cultural policy is characterized by inertia and Argentinean cultural policy by instability. It...

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