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The Measure of Meetings: Forums, Deliberation, and Cultural Policy


  • Steven J. Tepper

    (Princeton University)

  • Stephanie Hinton

    (Princeton University)


This research seeks to answer the question: -- Do meetings matter for advancing cultural policy? The question is approached theoretically and comparatively by examining the broader literature on policy making, as well specific case studies of meetings in other fields, in order to draw lessons and implications for arts and culture; discursively and ethnographically, by attending the annual meetings of arts service associations and recording and interpreting how people at these meetings talked about problems and policy; and empirically, by looking at a sample of conference program books over ten years and coding and analyzing what issues were discussed and who was invited to discuss them. We also studied, in detail, what a random sample of 40 participants say they learned at a particular annual convention and what policy-relevant actions they took as a result of having attended the meeting. Overall, we find that meetings are not currently effective tools for advancing policy in the cultural sector, with some notable exceptions. In arts and culture, where resources are modest, where the policy community is fragmented, where problems are poorly defined, where there is no central authority or government agency, and where issues have low salience for the general public, welltimed and carefully orchestrated meetings can perhaps play an even more important role than they do in other fields.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven J. Tepper & Stephanie Hinton, 2003. "The Measure of Meetings: Forums, Deliberation, and Cultural Policy," Working Papers 39, Princeton University, School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies..
  • Handle: RePEc:pri:cpanda:28

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Geurts, Jac. L. A. & Joldersma, Cisca, 2001. "Methodology for participatory policy analysis," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 128(2), pages 300-310, January.
    2. repec:pri:cpanda:wp21%20-%20tepper is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Steven J? Tepper, 2002. "Creative Assets and the Changing Economy," Working Papers 43, Princeton University, School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies..
    4. Steven J? Tepper, 2002. "Creative Assets and the Changing Economy," Working Papers 43, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies..
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    JEL classification:

    • Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature


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