The international working meeting “Cultural Policy Transformations: The Rise of Illiberalism”, on 5 and 6 March 2020 at Zeppelin University, marked the beginning of an international research project. The meeting addressed issues of contemporary international cultural policy, especially the increased presence of illiberal, populist governments, parties and movements. Together with researchers from Austria, Denmark, Germany, Israel, Norway, Poland, Serbia, Spain, Turkey, and the USA, national situations were examined and comparatively discussed.
ACPT cluster team and international guests
The discussions showed that more research is required to develop a more differentiated understanding of liberalism and illiberalism, their respective characteristics, conditions and objectives, as well as the explicit and implicit cultural policy measures associated with them. Traditional understandings of state cultural policy—with legal frameworks and financial grants that tend to support the autonomy of the arts (in liberal, welfare-state, identity-political variants, with focus on the state, market and/or civil society)—are increasingly controversial or are re-forming themselves as hybrid concepts. Similarly, the reactions of civil society vary between apathy, cooperation, opposition, pragmatism and activism. What consequences does this have specifically for the relationship between cultural and democratic policy and governance?
A second international working meeting with additional guests is planned for autumn 2020 at Zeppelin University.