Cultural Policies as a Driver For A Participatory Transformation of Democracy in the European Union


Abstract


Across Europe, culture is acquiring an increasing constitutional relevance by fostering experiments of bottom-up reflexive and self-organised participation able to bring policymakers closer to citizens. This paper adopts a European Union (EU) standpoint, observing how the EU could use cultural programs to support these practices and promote democracy and inclusion in the wake of the ‘crisis of political representation’. The objective is to draw recommendations for EU institutions to connect with local communities by multiplying the opportunities of equality and inclusion without interfering with local democracy. The investigation starts from an analysis – also through the case study of Italian constitutional transformations – of how the ‘distrust’ towards representation transformed the constitutional settlements of democratic participation. The study emphasises the need for new participatory forms and the relevance of spontaneous bottom-up initiatives in that direction, especially in the cultural field. Against this backdrop, the article will explore how EU cultural policies could be more inclusive so as to improve their social approach and trigger a direct dialogue with grassroots experiences.

 


DOI Code: 10.1285/i20398573v7n1p157

Keywords: cultural and creative spaces; participatory democracy; Creative Europe; constitutional transformation; crisis of representation

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