under the scientific advice of Guy Saez and the editorial coordination of Geneviève Gentil and Michel Kneubühler, Comité d'histoire/ La Documentation française, 2011, 333 p. + 1 CD
To what extent can research contribute to shaping public policy on culture? This is the question to which, as early as 1963, Augustin Girard endeavoured to respond by creating the Department of Cultural Affairs' Studies and Research Service.
The writings that mark his professional career attest to a constant dialectic between research and action, as well as an astonishing ability to formalise, often early, certain key notions in the history of public cultural policies:
– “cultural development”;
– the contribution of the humanities to knowledge of cultural life;
– consideration of culture by local authorities;
– the weight of cultural industries;
– the need for international cooperation;
– the contribution of history to future policy-making.
In order to make better known a thought of the most stimulating with regard to the stakes of contemporary cultural policies, this book brings together:
– major texts by Augustin Girard;
– contributions from researchers who have worked with him or under his direction;
– interviews with French or foreign cultural policy makers or “great witnesses” who have accompanied his journey.
«The cultural issue Augustin Girard wrote in 1986, “is not only the development of artistic life, but also the condition for a future, a human project, a new civilization to emerge"For," he added, "cultural policy is not intended to give birth to society in a world defined as desirable, but to enable everyone to build human responses to the threats of the foreseeable and the unpredictable».
This publication is available on request at History committee.