Paradoxical autonomy in cultural organisations: An analysis of changing relations between cultural organisations and their institutional environment, with examples from libraries, archives and museums

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt


This article analyses the changing relationships between cultural organisations and their institutional environment. Cultural policy research has traditionally focused on a decline in the autonomy of cultural organisations with Pierre Bourdieu’s theories as an overarching theoretical framework. However, recent studies of public administration tell another story. It shows how relationships between cultural organisations and their institutional environment are paradoxical. Cultural organisations have experienced a growing focus on societal value, users and performance indicators, which can be viewed as a decrease in their autonomy. Simultaneously, they have been able to pursue new ways of fulfilling their purpose, an increase in autonomy. The article discusses the theoretical perspectives on this paradox, with focus on New Public Governance, and shows that the paradox of autonomy entails a change in the roles of professionals, politicians and users. Politicians still determine subsidies, but they have increasingly left policymaking to the cultural organisations.
Bidragets oversatte titelparadoksal autonomi i kulturinstitutioner: En analyse af forandrede relationer mellem kulturinstitutioner og deres institutionelle omverden, med eksempler fra biblioteker, arkiver og museer
TidsskriftThe International Journal of Cultural Policy
Udgave nummer5
Sider (fra-til)636-649
Antal sider20
StatusUdgivet - 2020

Antal downloads er baseret på statistik fra Google Scholar og

Ingen data tilgængelig

ID: 248337408