History of cultural policies


Cultural policies in France are the result of a slow maturation process in which the uniqueness of this country lies. Although we place emphasis, in this class, on cultural policies under the Fifth Republic, we will, to begin with, study the origins of public intervention in this field, from the Ancien Régime to 1959. Actions by the State and by local authorities, as well as the relations between public partners are examined in parallel. The policies conducted by successive ministries of the Fifth Republic, the different stages of deconcentration and decentralization, and the most recent issues raised by these policies are examined and analyzed: broadening of the concept of culture, societal implications, and challenges of the democratization of culture and cultural diversity, technological issues.

Recommended Prerequisite(s)

A basic knowledge about the political evolution of France from the Ancien Régime to the present day is required. A more in-depth knowledge of the political history of the Fifth Republic.

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., Les dérèglements de l’exception culturelle, Seuil, 2006.
  • Benhamou F., L’économie de la culture, La Découverte, 2011.
  • Coulangeon P., Les métamorphoses de la distinction. Inégalités culturelles dans la France d’aujourd’hui, Grasset, 2011.
  • Delporte C., Sirinelli J.F., Dictionnaire d’histoire culturelle de la France contemporaine, PUF, 2010.
  • Djian J.M., La politique culturelle, Le Monde-Éditions, 1996.

Educational formula

Lectures, work on PowerPoint, text documents and videos.

In brief

Year Fourth year

Teaching languageFrench

Teaching term Six-monthly

ECTS credits 2.0

Number of hours 18.0

Teaching activityLecture course

ValidationFinal written examination

Mandatory teaching

Open to exchange students



Educational manager :
Taliano Françoise [+]