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« Creative Europe » ou l’action publique par projet. Enquête sur une modernisation des politiques publiques en Europe.

Abstract : This thesis examines the implementation of Creative Europe, the European cultural funding programme that was adopted in 2013 by the European Union (EU). The research reveals the context and what made possible the reform of european policies for culture, showing how this process is inscribed within a long-term metamorphosis of public action in Europe. Scholarly literature focused on recent EU cultural policy reforms often describes a "neoliberal turning point" associated with a "creative turn". The redefinition of european cultural policies in the name of "creativity" is accompanied by a generalisation of project-based funding as well as the introduction of an entrepreneurial lexicon and tools specific to new public management to oversee the process of subsidising culture. However, this work tends to be limited to analysing the policy changes that are generated by these processes from a conceptual, discursive or a strictly formal perspective. On the contrary, our analysis seeks to question the hypothesis of a "turning point" by exploring the practical implictions of these changes. In doing so, the analysis of the reform of european policy makes it possible to identify the concrete processes that are at work in what tends to be discussed as the "neoliberalisation" of public policies. We connect three levels of analysis: the cognitive frameworks that justify a public policy and its reform, the elaboration of the political instruments that give it substance, and the concrete implementation of the latter. Our theoretical framework combines sociology of justification with political sociology of the instruments of public action and management tools, and sociology of translation. Our material is based on an analysis of the academic literature on the "creative turn" and grey literature produced by the european institutions, as well as a series of ethnographic interviews and observations – including several weeks in the context of a contact desk of the Creative Europe programme and many months in a cultural lobbbying organisation in Brussels. The thesis contributes to demonstrating that this reforming enterprise induces a plural and contradictory appropriation of policies by the involved actors. Rather than the homogenising term of "neoliberalisation", we therefore prefer that of "modernisation" to underline the conflicts and the compromises that emerge from this incongrous process of appropriation. At each of the three levels of observation, we reveal the efforts made by actors to interpret, model and renegotiate the meaning of the reforms locally. We show the disagremeents around what a "good" cultural policy is and the work of interpreting the programme at the desks of european institutions, or even the malleability of the meaning that is given to the notion of "project". We highlight how project-based funding is transforming not only the working arrangements of cultural organisations that receive such funding but also their ability to develop a critical stance towards EU policy.
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Contributor : Mehdi Arfaoui <>
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Mehdi Arfaoui. « Creative Europe » ou l’action publique par projet. Enquête sur une modernisation des politiques publiques en Europe.. Sciences de l'Homme et Société. EHESS-Paris, 2019. Français. ⟨tel-02388494⟩



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