Decentralisation in South East Europe: objectives, instruments, practices by Vjeran Katunari

18 de noviembre de 2013

Cultural policy centralism is an end in itself intimately connected with building of nation-states. It is in the core of the idea of national culture to establish a permanent institutional protection by the state (Gellner, 1986). No other arrangements, including liberal market and civil society organisations, are believed to take care of public culture (Miller, 1995). This policy, exercised in the national capitals, made for a centripetal political and cultural landscape crystallised in a representative order of institutions. It is marked with a clear boundary towards internal periphery, neighbouring nations and non-cultural sectors. Meanings and functions of culture are captured by power and prestige exercise. Hence the function of representation stays in the foreground. The questions “who” (is) presented and “where”, accompanied with the idea of big number (large spending, audience, international reputations, etc.), is of primary importance. The centre glows from inside, providing the impression of national cohesion, and occasionally outside, namely there where former imperial power made its international glory.

This radiation detracts other meanings and functions of culture, i.e., non-hierarchical, transboundary and bottom-up interests in culture. Also, it makes decentralisation being a descending order or an issue of power-struggle between centre and periphery.

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