© 2020

Digital Cultural Politics

From Policy to Practice


Part of the New Directions in Cultural Policy Research book series (NDCPR)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. Bjarki Valtysson
    Pages 1-10
  3. Foundations

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 11-11
  4. Manifestations

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 99-99
    2. Bjarki Valtysson
      Pages 101-154
    3. Bjarki Valtysson
      Pages 155-211
    4. Bjarki Valtysson
      Pages 213-222
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 223-226

About this book


This book is the first to thoroughly account for the changes in the landscape of cultural policy caused by digital communication and digital media. Valtysson investigates how communication infrastructures and dominant tech giants increasingly shape citizens’ production and consumption patterns, influencing how people meet and interact with cultural products. This book builds theoretical foundations to illuminate the complexities of the changing field of cultural policy and provides concrete manifestations of how policy relates to and shapes practice. The book focuses on archival politics, institutional politics and user politics, and includes analysis of Google Cultural Institute, Europeana, the BBC, the Brooklyn Museum and Te Papa Tongarewa. In order to further understand the complex nature of digital cultural politics, Valtysson provides an analysis of YouTube and Google’s privacy policies and how these relate to the EU’s regulatory frameworks within audio-visual media services, telecommunications, and data protection.


Digital cultural policy politics practice technology

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

About the authors

Bjarki Valtysson is Associate Professor at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. His current research is focused on digital media, digital cultural politics and algorithmic platform societies. He is the co-editor of Media and the Mundane: Communication across Media in Everyday Life (2016), Technologies of Labour and the Politics of Contradiction (2018) and Cultures of Participation: Arts, Digital Media and Cultural Institutions (2020).

Bibliographic information


“The impact of digital on cultural policy is one of the crucial issues for researchers and practitioners, and this book is essential reading on the subject”

 -Dave O’Brien is Chancellor’s Fellow in Cultural and Creative Industries at the University of Edinburgh, UK.


“Cultural policy frameworks are being challenged for some time now by the digital practices influencing all the aspects of our societies – culture, economy, politics. Valtýsson’s book critically analyzes these challenges, successfully pushing the field where it needs to be more present. It is a guide for the dilemmas of the present that can assist the academics, students and policy makers with their journeys towards (hopeful) future.”

-Aleksandar Brkić, Lecturer of Arts Management and Cultural Policy at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK, and co-author of The Routledge Companion to Arts Management (2019).


“Valtysson provides a timely reminder of the extent to which cultural policy, institutions and practices are reprogrammed through algorithms, platforms and ‘dataification’ of citizens. His analysis makes connections between the perennial concerns of cultural policy – participation, legitimacy, power – and the institutions, regulatory frameworks and big tech companies which shape our digital world. His book will be welcomed by those teaching cultural policy, media policy and digital culture, providing detailed analysis of the transitions from policy to practice and from promise to reality, and pointing the way to a new critical digital cultural politics.”

-Chris Bilton, Associate Professor of Cultural and Media Policy Studies, University of Warwick, UK


“We need to understand digital cultures politically, if we are to have a hope of regulating them for the public good. This book is an invaluable guide to that, carefully navigating the complexity of consumption and production, labour and leisure, aesthetics and data. A vital work for cultural policymakers and scholars alike.”

-Kate Oakley, Professor of Cultural Policy, University of Glasgow, UK