2.1 Main features of the current cultural policy model
In terms of regulation of and resource mobilisation for culture there is a complex web of interactions between the state, the market, civil society, private patronage and cultural professional associations. The dominant political attitude in cultural policy has favoured cooperation between the state and the cultural professions while - typically and until recently - being more suspicious towards the market and private sponsorship. This is now changing into a perspective that is more positive towards the market, especially on the local and regional levels. At the same time, the regional level is becoming increasingly important in the cultural policy model.
The Swedish cultural policy model has until recently been marked by a strong national level, with most of its powers invested in government agencies under the leadership of government appointed directors and boards including representatives of relevant fields and professions. The complexity of the Swedish cultural policy model is revealed by the large number of heterogeneous units directly subordinated and / or financially dependent on the Ministry of Culture. A double arms-length principle is at work. Cultural institutions, even when controlled by government agencies, are provided with formal autonomy from the government by constitutional law. In addition, there is a tradition of respect for the autonomy of artists and cultural professionals in matters of content and quality of cultural production. Safeguards against political intervention in the practices of publicly owned and / or publicly financed cultural institutions are very strong, providing the administrative system of culture with a high degree of inertia.
In the last Government Bill on Cultural Policy in 2009 (2009/10:3), the previous focus on the national level was somewhat changed. Since then, a new system has been introduced in which national government funding of regional institutions will be governed through agreements between the national and the regional governments (see chapter 4.1).