This authoritative study considers contemporary policies for the arts in France and the cultural and political issues they have raised. The author concentrates particularly on the seminal Mitterrand years but also disentangles the various influences which marked them. Analyzing the role of the ever more powerful Ministry of Culture, he traces the gradual shift from the democratization of high culture, adopted as a quasi-religious crusade during the De Gaulle era, to the aesthetic relativism and 'fun' culture which became the trademark of the department during the 1980s and 1990s. He also examines wider debates about the relationship between culture, society and the state.
David L. Looseley Professor of Contemporary French Culture, University of Leeds
'David Looseley has charted in full and lucid detail the history of these extraordinary years.' The Literary Review 'The book's text matches up well to a fascinating and highly topical subject and the author has covered his ground in considerable depth, providing an important source book … this book has provided considerable enlightenment and occasional moments of righteous envy.'The Times Higher Education Supplement'Looseley has produced an important book which sets new standards in the study of cultural policy, and which will be read with interest by policy makers and academics alike.'European Journal of Cultural Policy' … a well-researched work with excellent references, bibliography, short chronology and index … providing a fascinating insight into the types of debate that governments can engender if they are willing to be involved not just in the selling of franchises for television and the national lottery but in a holistic approach to the promotion of the n