© 2019

Histories of Cultural Participation, Values and Governance

  • Eleonora Belfiore
  • Lisanne Gibson

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

Table of contents

About this book


This book develops the first integrated, critical-historical examination of the terms, narratives and assumptions constructing present day notions of participation and value, and the relations between them. Histories of Cultural Participation, Values and Governance proposes a radical re-evaluation of these relationships, organized in two inter-related sections, on political discourses of participation and value, and on culture and governance. The essays collected here provide an in-depth historical understanding of the development of definitions, assumptions and beliefs around the nature and value of cultural participation, their place in contemporary cultural governance and exploitation in local socio-economic development strategies. They also bring a novel perspective to current policy, practice and scholarly debates on the connections between culture, place-making and the creative economy. As such, the essays provide vital historical insight that sheds light on contemporary issues of cultural participation, value and governance.


cultural policy culture governance participation policy

Editors and affiliations

  • Eleonora Belfiore
    • 1
  • Lisanne Gibson
    • 2
  1. 1.Loughborough UniversityLoughboroughUK
  2. 2.University of LeicesterLeicesterUK

About the editors

Eleonora Belfiore is Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Loughborough University, UK. Her research explores the cultural politics of state intervention in culture and discursive formation around ‘making the case’ for arts funding, the social impact of the arts and questions of cultural value. She is series editor of the book series New Directions in Cultural Policy Research and, as of 2020, co-editor of the journal Cultural Trends.

Lisanne Gibson is Professor of Culture and Society at the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, UK. Her research advances understanding of the societal effects of historic and contemporary cultural investment especially in relation to urban development; cultural policy and value; and cultural heritage. She co-edits with Andrew Miles the book series Palgrave Studies in Cultural Participation, and from 2020 will be co-editor of the journal Cultural Trends.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Histories of Cultural Participation, Values and Governance
  • Editors Eleonora Belfiore
    Lisanne Gibson
  • Series Title New Directions in Cultural Policy Research
  • Series Abbreviated Title New Directions in Cultural Policy Research
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Literature, Cultural and Media Studies Literature, Cultural and Media Studies (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-137-55026-2
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-349-71541-1
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-137-55027-9
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XII, 227
  • Number of Illustrations 6 b/w illustrations, 3 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Cultural Policy and Politics
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“This excellent collection of essays challenges us to think in new ways about cultural participation and cultural value, two themes that have in recent years come to dominate both policy debate and academic analysis. It shows convincingly how historical case studies and interdisciplinary approaches can shake up a field in need of refreshing, and is essential reading for anyone interested in cultural analysis and cultural policy today.” (Professor Geoffrey Crossick, School of Advanced Study, University of London, UK)

“Gibson and Belfiore have assembled a collection of essays addressing pressing contemporary debates on cultural value and participation going back almost two centuries, providing a crucial historical perspective in contrast to the 'presentism' of much cultural policy analysis. This book is a must read for those working in and on culture.” (Professor Justin O’Connor, University of South Australia)