Edited by Ruth Towse and Christian Handke
The development of cultural policy during the twentieth century is underscored by three key developments. First, the formation of the Arts Council of Great Britain in 1946, first headed by the Cambridge economist Lord Keynes, saw the scaffolding developed for ongoing government support for the arts. In doing so, it established the principle of an ìarmís lengthî relationship between the government of the day and individual artists, through the development of independent arts boards engaged in the peer review of creative works. Second, the formation of the Fifth Republic in France in 1958 saw the creation of a Ministry of Culture, headed by the writer AndrÈ Malraux. Malraux and his successors have seen three major tasks for a national cultural policy: government support for the creation of new artistic and cultural works; the promotion and maintenance of cultural heritage; and enabling equitable access to creative works and creative opportunities through all segments of society. Finally, at a global level, agencies such as UNESCO have sought to promote national cultural policies as an element of national sovereignty, particularly in the developing world, and this has involved addressing sources of structural inequality in the distribution of global cultural and communications resources. The appropriate scope and breadth of cultural policy is a subject of ongoing debate.
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