Culture, Governance and Citizenship
Workaround: In current version of Panels 3.8, it seems this body field needs to be populated in order for title above to appear. This note is hidden by custom CSS style. Jack Latimer.
The full title of this theme is 'Culture, Governance and Citizenship: the Formation and Transformations of Liberal Government'.
The theme examines the role that culture has played in social change through its connections with practices of governance. It brings a particular historical focus to these concerns by taking its bearings from the changing articulations of the relations between culture, governance and citizenship that have characterised the development of liberal forms of rule over the period from the late eighteenth century to current forms of neo-liberal government.
The distinctiveness of liberal government for the purposes of these inquiries consists in the varying degrees of freedom and autonomy which it grants to citizens. This gives liberal government a number of distinctive features: a significant emphasis on the development of techniques of self regulation through which individuals reflexively monitor and govern their own conduct; the development of systems and relations which work through the connections they establish between individuals, and which are, in turn, operated by those individuals; and new forms of organisation of social space allowing for the circulation and free flow of bodies, things and signs.
What we have done so far
Theme 3 has addressed three main questions concerning (i) how the changing roles of culture within the governance of modern societies have connected to the material practices of states, cities and markets (ii) the relations between individual self-governance and governance through communities in contemporary and historical practices of cultural governance and (iii) the ways in which questions of cultural diversity are best pursued, and the role played by cultural knowledge in the practices of cultural institutions. Our work proposes a distinctive account of how liberal practices of government and self-government have been organised, and of the mechanisms through which they are transformed. These include the role of materialities of various kinds in the organisation of modern infrastructures of government.
In relation to the first question we have probed the role of changing material infrastructures (such as postal systems, and architectures of public administration) and the new forms of governance emerging from the reorganisation of territorial boundaries between states. We have also shown the significance of religious-cum-cultural boundaries in the organisation of city geographies, and of local markets to the urban organisation of social and cultural differences. Work on the second question has examined the development of new forms of self-governance and training associated with the development, for example, of modern practices of insurance; and more communal forms of governance and training associated, for example, with the development of censuses. The third question has been pursued via the comparative examination of the operation of cultural diversity policies at the national level, as well as in relation to the operations of specific cultural institutions across diverse cultural sectors.
In examining the role that culture plays in liberal practices of government, the theme focuses principally on the following research issues:
1. Material culture
The cultural assumptions and meanings that are embedded in the material infrastructures of modern states and cities, with distinctive consequences for the ways in which individuals and groups are interconnected and the forms of action and interaction that are possible between them.
2. Knowledge, governance and change
The part played by different forms of knowledge (aesthetics, art history, genomics, archaeology, heritage, anthropology) in the practices of cultural institutions (museums, art galleries, libraries) which aim to manage and regulate social change.
3. Culture and policy
The part played by different forms of knowledge in programmes of social and cultural management operating at the interfaces of cultural and social policies in connection with current policy agendas of cultural diversity and social inclusion.
4. The shaping of expertise
The distinctive technical and ethical characteristics and competencies informing the education and training of specific types of cultural 'experts', professionals, leaders and administrators.
5. Negotiating culture
The relationship between the forms of cultural knowledge that inform liberal practices of government and the lay knowledges which circulate among particular social groups, and the implications of these for the ways in which government programmes are negotiated with consequences for social change that are often different from those envisaged by planners and administrators.
6. The limits of liberal government
The social, historical and geographical boundaries of liberal government and the implications of these for the more directive ways in which culture is caught up in the more coercive forms of rule directed at non-citizens.
In pursuing these concerns, the theme will draw on the perspectives of anthropology, cultural history, sociology, the history of science, technology and medicine, cultural studies, cultural geography, material culture studies, and museum and gallery studies.
The main contributions to the interests of research users will be developed around the relevance of the research to urban policies and planning, cultural and sports policies, and museum and gallery policies.
The work of the theme will be developed via two main projects, each of which will comprise a number of inquiries, with an integrative project examining common concerns across the two main projects. Follow the links on the left to see a summary of each of these projects.
Below is a list of the projects run by this research theme. Click on the title of the project for more information.
Edges, Environmental and Moral Borders, Visceral Boundaries
Edges, Environmental and Moral Borders, Visceral Boundaries
This inquiry adopted two lines of investigation. The first centered upon the promotion of life assurance through devices including the use of agents, sales promotion, publicity and corporate...
The integrative project probes the nature and limits of liberal government from a range of different perspectives – historical, theoretical and methodological. Work to date has focused on...
This is a comparative international project on city objects which will explore street objects as devices for understanding city cultures, sociality and the...
Below is a list of the publications produced by this research theme.
Refereed Journal Papers
Francis Dodsworth (2006), 'Liberty and Order: Civil Government and the Common Good in Eighteenth-Century England', CRESC Working Paper 21.
Tony Bennett (2005), 'Civic laboratories: museums, cultural objecthood, and the governance of the social', CRESC Working Paper 002.