1st Edition

European Networks and Cultural Governance How Culture Makes Policy

By Carlotta Scioldo Copyright 2025
    204 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In an interconnected world, where Europe needs to respond to complex societal challenges, a new form of governance has emerged, driven by the rise of transnational networks (TNs). This book delves into this transformative evolution, unravelling the intricate dynamics between cultural networks, policymaking and creative ecosystems within and beyond the EU.

    Over three decades, these networks have morphed from informal collaborations into robust entities pivotal in shaping EU cultural policies and sectors. This book explores how TNs, propelled by EU funding initiatives, have redefined cultural governance by fostering cross-border cooperation and promoting European integration. Through a blend of institutional and ethnographic analysis, the chapters dissect the multifaceted roles of TNs, from their influence on local creative practices to their strategic impact on policy discourse and ideational changes. Furthermore, by presenting case studies and novel analytical indicators to assess networks, the book highlights the nuanced interplay between global and local dynamics in cultural governance. Overall, the work challenges traditional narratives and proposes a fresh perspective on how transnational networks function as both top-down and bottom-up instruments, shaping a shared European cultural space in symbolic, cognitive and structural terms.

    This volume is an essential read for scholars, policymakers, and practitioners seeking to understand the transformative power of creative networks in the EU’s governance landscape. This compelling examination not only enhances comprehension of multilevel cultural governance but also paves the way for strategic foresight in cultural policymaking across Europe and beyond.

    1. Introduction: The Architecture of Cultural Governance Part I – Conceptualising Transnational Cultural Governance 2. Cultural Policy and the European Union 3. Analytical Framework and Method Part II – Assessing Transnational Cultural Governance 4. Transnational Networks in the Cultural Sector 5. Local Impacts of Transnational Networks 6. Transnational Networks in EU Cultural Governance


    Carlotta Scioldo is a Researcher and Consultant with a focus on EU cultural policies and programmes. Carlotta is also Lecturer at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication at Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and External Expert at the European Commission, EACEA.

    "This timely and meticulously argued book focuses on the understudied shift within the European Union towards a new cultural governance architecture that is characterized by hybrid transnational networks. Through her creative combination of a constructivist perspective and in-depth case studies, Carlotta Scioldo demonstrates how the ongoing process of cultural Europeanization sometimes unexpectedly merges bottom-up initiatives with top-down policies. She presents a new typology of transnational networks, carefully examines the effects of network membership, and rightly points out the risk of depoliticization, where critical issues are sidelined in favor of consensus-building. This book is essential reading if you want to understand the genesis and functioning of the newly emerged European Cultural Space." Rudi Laermans, Professor Emeritus in Social Theory and Sociology of the Arts, University of Leuven, Belgium

    "The book is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the intricate relationship between cultural policy, governance mechanisms, and the transnational networking dynamics within the EU's cultural landscape. It offers valuable insights into the transformative role of cultural transnational networks in shaping EU cultural objectives and critically assesses their role as foresight tools for nuanced cultural policy interactions across Europe." Enrico Bertacchini, Associate Professor of Public Economics at University of Turin, Italy