Culture and decentralization


Public cultural policies in France have been developed according to a logic of artistic and then cultural deconcentration and decentralization.  In the first part of this class we will examine in detail the main principles underlying these policies. We will then look at how, starting with the decentralization of 1982, these policies, implemented primarily by local authorities, have reinvented the notion of territory(ies). We will take a close look at the cultural policies of municipalities, départements and regions but we will also focus our attention on territorial reform laws and on the possibly increasing cultural role of public establishments for cooperation between local authorities and metropolises. Thus, new models are likely to emerge with the increasing consideration given to people's participation, and to forms of public-private cooperation that can pave the way to a new economy of culture and new values.

Recommended Prerequisite(s)

Good knowledge of the French political administrative system and of the field of culture.

Form of assessment

The number of ECTS credits and the assessment methods are likely to be different for students in credit exchange programmes.


  • Benhamou F., L’économie de la culture, La Découverte, Paris, 2004.
  • Faure A., Negrier E., (dir.), La politique culturelle des agglomérations, Paris, La Documentation française, 2001.
  • Poirrier P., Dubois V., Politiques locales et enjeux culturels, les clochers d’une querelle XIXe-XXe siècle, Paris, La Documentation française, 2003.
  • Poirrier P., Rizzardo R., Une ambition partagée ? La coopération entre le ministère de la culture et les collectivités territoriales (1959-2009), La Documentation française, Paris, 2009.
  • Saez G., Institutions et vie culturelles, La Documentation française, Paris, 2004.

Educational formula

The class alternates lectures and situational exercises.

In brief

Year Fourth year

Teaching languageFrench

Teaching term Six-monthly

ECTS credits 3.0

Number of hours 18.0

Teaching activityLecture course

ValidationFinal written examination

Mandatory teaching

Open to exchange students



Educational manager :
Pouthier François [+]