The use of financial instruments by the public sector to support the cultural and creative field is a rising trend. At a national and supranational level, public bodies are increasingly employing financial instruments, such as loan guarantees, to facilitate debt financing to creative organisations. This paper attempts to contribute to the understanding of these changes. It explores the logic of public intervention underpinning the emergence of this phenomenon in four distinct polities; France, Spain, the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU), as well as their mutual influences. It does so from a historical perspective, placing special attention to economic, political and ideational factors. The article concludes by arguing that although financial instruments cannot be considered as novel mechanisms, the intensity under which they are currently being advanced may signal towards a profound change for the governance of the cultural sector.
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