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Andrej Srakar

Abstract

Network organizations in the arts have recently received substantial discussion in cultural policy research. Yet, very seldom have they been empirically modeled. We analyze development of Društvo Asociacija, the umbrella network of nongovernmental organizations and freelancers in culture and the arts in Slovenia between 2004–2017. Using mediation analysis, we observe two breakpoint periods in the development of the network and explore if they were the effects of internal, organizationally related factors or the mere response to external, macroeconomic changes. Our findings demonstrate the importance of internal decisions of the organization which have a self-standing, but not a mediating effect to the consequences of external factors like financial crises. This has an important consequence for European cultural policies as it shows to which extent network organizations in the arts should be supported directly and to which manner their condition is just a consequence of the changes in their external environment.

Open access

Karsten Xuereb

Abstract

This paper will address the impact of the European Union (EU) on cultural policy development in Malta. The attention paid by the EU to globalising matters through culture, particularly i) citizenship participation in relation to social integration, ii) economic revival through urban regeneration, and iii) cultural diplomacy with regard to internationalisation efforts, is acknowledged and assessed through a focus on recent Maltese cultural practice. Impact will be assessed in relation to a) policy as well as legislation, b) funding structures and incentives, and c) implementation measures through initiatives taken by Maltese public cultural institutions. Convergences and divergences in comparison with key EU strategic actions will be discussed, with reference made to major legislative documents, funding programmes, and cultural projects undertaken by Maltese authorities and other cultural stakeholders in response or in relation to European developments.

Open access

Goran Tomka and Višnja Kisić

Abstract

The case of Novi Sad European Capital of Culture 2021 (NS2021), in which various rationales of cultural policy (local, national, supranational) thread a complex web of political interactions, brings interesting challenges to the theoretical landscape of cultural policy research. We start with the analysis of the Bidbook NS2021 as a cultural policy text, discussing its inconsistencies and ambiguities. Then we study the context and the policy process through participant observation and interviews with key authors. We find that the policy-making process is best explained as contingent - meaning that it is dependent on the historical discourses, demands of the specific policy genre, external requirements and internal pressures, and individual agencies and accidents. In the concluding section, we discuss theoretical and methodological implications that policy contingency poses to cultural policy studies.

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Jaka Primorac, Aleksandra Uzelac and Paško Bilić

Abstract

This introductory article contextually frames the contributions to the special issue gathering articles critically addressing the key questions and challenges that the European Union (EU) and national cultural policies are facing in the 21st century. Interdisciplinary contributions in this special issue point to the diverse understandings of culture, the complexity of the EU governance system, and the discrepancy and mismatch of the national and EU levels that regulate the field of culture. The authors detect the inconsistent development strategies on different policy levels, and point to the democratic deficits of the EU governance system and EU policies. Selected contributions address a further focal shift of EU culture policies toward an economistic orientation to culture, while others address the need for a more critical approach that moves beyond predominantly positivistic and normative approaches to cultural policy research in Europe.

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Jeremy W. Lamoreaux and Nicholas Dyerly

Abstract

As early as 1994, scholars, analysts and policymakers began to wonder the extent to which the Baltic States mattered in the relationship between Russia and the West. The general consensus for the following 20 years was that the Baltic States matter considerably, especially following their inclusion in both the EU and NATO in 2004. However, in the past few years two trends have emerged which begin to call this accepted knowledge into question. First, the relationship between Russia and the West has turned more hostile following nearly 20 years of detente. The West insists (especially NATO) insists that it is within its right to protect states that were formerly part of the Soviet Union/Russia’s “near abroad”. Russia, on the other hand, insists that NATO incursion into the “shared neighborhood” is a violation of trust and overstepping normal geopolitical bounds.

Second, the Baltic States who once presented something of a united front for the West against Russia, no longer appear to have a common approach to foreign policy. While Estonia leans toward Scandinavia, and Lithuania leans toward Poland and Ukraine, Latvia is a bit of an odd man out with nowhere to turn. Furthermore, even other states in the Shared Neighborhood no longer seem to see Latvia as a valuable ally within the West. Considering this state of affairs, this paper considers whether Latvia matters anymore in regional geopolitics, or whether they are losing relevance.

Open access

Ingrida Gečienė-Janulionė

Abstract

In recent years, Lithuania’s changing geopolitical environment because of the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine has increased the potential military threat that inevitably affects the subjective perception of security of the population. Based on the data from representative surveys and interviews conducted in 2014 and 2016, the article examines Lithuanians’ subjective perception of external military threats in the new geopolitical context, the impact of this perception on their coping strategies and the factors that have an impact on the selection of these strategies. The article is based on Buzan’s (1983, 1991, 2007) theoretical insights into subjective security and the sociological subjective security analysis approach of Inglehart and Norris (2012), applying it to the practically unexplored subjective response (strategies chosen by individuals) to the research into the field of military threat field. These two theoretical approaches allow the analysis of how a country’s population comprehends threats to its security amid a changing geopolitical context and the examination of the impact of different groups and approaches in society when selecting coping strategies. The article argues that the perception of security changes over time, as following the events that created the feeling of insecurity in the first place, the feeling of security again starts to rise gradually. In addition, knowledge of not only the current geopolitical context but also the historical experience is important, as in societies that have undergone radical political transformations, attitudes towards the existing democratic and former Soviet regimes play a rather major part in determining subjective security. The subjective security of different social groups and their selected coping strategies also differ, as it is the most vulnerable social groups that feel least safe. The least vulnerable social groups are most inclined to defend their country, whereas more vulnerable groups choose to be passive or to look after themselves and their families first and foremost.

Open access

David Scott

Abstract

The article considers traditional and non-traditional security concerns faced by the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in the face of China’s increasing presence. Consequently the article first considers the geo-economic challenges posed to these Baltic States through the China and Central and East Europe Countries (CCEEC) grouping, and China’s Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) initiative. This economic leverage translates to political leverage able to be exerted on the Baltic states by China, with regard to human rights and the issue of the Dalai Lama. Moreover, such mechanisms and Chinese financing serves to politically divide the Baltic states, and also divides EU solidarity vis-à-vis China. Finally there are the conventional security issues posed to the Baltic states in the Russia-China naval exercises carried out in Baltic waters in 2017; with China’s role in effect providing implicit support and legitimisation of explicit Russian threats in the Baltic. It concludes by suggesting alternative infrastructure routings to at least reduce the threat of Russian interference.

Open access

Bjarki Valtysson

Abstract

This article inspects discursive shifts in the EU’s cultural policy and how these relate to the four ‘generations’ of EU cultural programmes: Raphaël, Ariane, Kaleidoscope; Culture 2000; Culture 2007; and the current Creative Europe programme. This paper therefore accounts for a ‘discursive journey’ that started in the 1970s and culminated with Article 128 in the Maastricht Treaty, which formally constituted the EU’s cultural policy. The article reveals that there can be detected certain shifts in discourses concerning the EU’s cultural programmes, but these shifts are aligned to older discourses within the cultural sector which, prior to the Maastricht Treaty, applied implicit cultural interventions. These therefore represented ‘camouflaged’ cultural understanding and appliances, which were instrumental and promoted economically and politically induced discourses. The major shift detected in the recent Creative Europe programme is a step away from discourses that facilitate the political construction of a ‘people’s Europe’, thereby utilising further discourses that promote aims which adhere to the Union’s Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.