Artists’ Autonomy and Professionalization in a New Cultural Policy Landscape


  • Marita Flisbäck Gothenborg University
  • Anna Lund Linnaeus University



Using literature on the professions, the article explores how a new political model for funding and steering may affect professional autonomy. Professional groups’ efforts to independently practice their profession during times of political change are elaborated. The professional group in questions is artists, the context is Sweden, and the new model is called the Collaborative Cultural Model. This model entails a shift in the funding and realization of cultural policy from the national to the regional level. From a situation in which civil servants with specific culture knowledge were involved, politicians, representatives of civil society, civil servants and artists are now to work together to create a regional culture plan. In the article, two different outcomes of the new model are discussed as possible. It can lead to de-professionalization process, particularly if the policy on keeping outside influences at “arm’s length” weakens. On the other hand, negotiations between different actors could result in artists’ knowledge becoming more prominent and receiving more recognition than previously. This, in turn, could promote professional artists’ status.

Keywords: Cultural policy, public funding, autonomy, artistic (de)professionalization, dominated and dominating



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How to Cite

Flisbäck, M., & Lund, A. (2015). Artists’ Autonomy and Professionalization in a New Cultural Policy Landscape. Professions and Professionalism, 5(2).

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