Luca Zan, Sara Bonini Baraldi, Federica Onofri

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European Cultural Capitals and Cultural Policies. Reflections of the Long Period on the Case of Bologna 2000

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The paper investigates the risk of losing connection between policies and practices in the Cultural field. Our focus concentrates mainly on the evaluation of the long term impacts related to growing international programs such as the European Capitals of Culture, and on how these initiatives are connected to the cultural strategies of a city. General (and abstract) approaches to cultural policies are likely to get the attention of experts, politicians and officers in Cultural departments in local government agencies in the name of city branding, cultural districts, creativity and the like. To what extent the diffusion of a similar rhetoric is translated into actual institutional, organizational and resources aspects related to the implementation of elegant policy designs is open to debate. The same bias is usually found in cultural policy studies, with few exceptions paying attention to the reconstruction of actual cultural policies as opposed to the ritualism of "grand strategies" making. Drawing from management studies, the paper adopts a different approach to the evaluation of cultural policies and their sustainability on the long run, investigating at the micro level the relationship between different phases of the process: planning, resources allocation, actions and results. The analysis of ten years of cultural policies in Bologna - in 2000 one of the European Capitals of Culture - will serve as specific focus to test and develop the analytical approach.

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