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When Cultural Policies Change

Comparing Mexico and Argentina


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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Preface by Annick Schramme


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ENCATC President

ENCATC is the leading European network on cultural policy and management. Established in Warsaw in 1992, today ENCATC is the only European network gathering over 120 higher education institutions, training and cultural organisations in over 40 countries. ENCATC has the status of an international non-profit organisation, an NGO in official partnership with UNESCO, an “observer” to the Steering Committee for Culture of the Council of Europe, and is co-funded by the European Commission, Creative Europe programme.

It is becoming more and more evident that education in cultural management and cultural policy cannot and should not be separated from research being conducted in the field. Since its creation, ENCATC has recognised this need and has always been very active in pursuing, publishing, presenting, and disseminating research in arts and cultural management and cultural policy to strengthen the understanding and knowledge of cultural management and cultural policy issues. ENCATC is a partner in many European research projects in fields like leadership, spillover of the creative industries, and heritage. In line with this objective, ENCATC’s own research activities already include over the past years the publication of the scientific Journal of Cultural Management and Policy, the organisation of a Research Session during our Annual Conference, the organisation of the Forum for Young Researchers, and the organisation of the ENCATC Research Award. To continue pursuing this objective and creating even stronger synergy between education and research, in 2014...

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