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Indicators on the Impact of Cultural Activities on Democracy

This collection of research papers, (draft) documents and comments intends to foster a broader debate on methodological and content issues of projects aiming at the development of indicator frameworks or indexes related to culture, in general, and to cultural contributions to democracy, in particular. It includes different indicator or index-related exercises in Europe and other parts of the world, starting with:

Culture & Democracy: Multi-Stakeholder Governance – Diversity – Rights – Access – Socio-Economic Impacts - Digitisation

Themes and Transversal Issues in Cultural Policies

The reorganised, and in part newly developed, Compendium Themes space on "Culture & Democracy" recognises the fact that the role of culture and of related policies has expanded steadily with the recognition of its importance in fostering democratic processes. In other words: The main objectives of the Council of Europe - strengthening democracy, human rights and the rule of law - are intrinsically tied to governance issues in the domain of culture, in general, and to cultural policies, in particular.

This is the reason why the content of the Compendium information and monitoring system focuses on priority issues of the Council of Europe, including but not limited to those set by the Warsaw Summit of Heads of State (2005) as well as the Ministerial Conferences in Baku (2008) and Moscow (2013): cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue, social cohesion, participation in cultural life and furthering the democratic governance of culture in the digital era.

The extensive Structure of 44 (soon 46) Compendium country profiles, which greatly expanded over the past 15 years and is now available in 26 different languages, encompasses 9 chapters addressing: historical developments; main objectives; decision-making processes; current policy issues; legal frameworks; cultural infrastructures; funding provisions; support to creativity and participation; and information sources. 70 sub-chapters, each with different questions and indicators, further add to this comprehensive system.

Transversal Themes

Based on a permanent reflection process within the Compendium "community of practice" and on meaningful user feedback, the editors decided to complement this multifaceted structure of national profiles first by adding comparative and monitoring tables and later by including a special section with statistical comparisons. More recently, this transversal section of "Culture & Democracy Themes" has been created in order to better integrate information on different, cross-cutting issues addressed in the sub-chapters of Compendium profiles, in particular on those highlighting the role of cultural freedom, diversity, access and dialogue for safeguarding democracy. At present, the following themes are addressed:

These transversal themes have been identified as issues of priority to the Council of Europe, to experts in other international organisations and in the participating Compendium countries, as well as to the research community. All issues are reported on in different parts of the Compendium profiles and are addressed in comparative and/or monitoring tables produced over the past years.

The main objectives of this section are to:

  • facilitate transversal approaches to reflection, analysis and monitoring processes ;
  • enable integrated access to specific "information clusters" from one point within the Compendium system;
  • visually demonstrate cross referencing and links between sub-chapters in the Compendium; and
  • better promote Compendium monitoring tables and comparative tools.

Users will select one of these issues and be led to its individual web page containing the following type of information:

  • short introduction (relevance, methodology, definitions etc.);
  • links to relevant Compendium sub-chapters, enabling users to create integrated country reports (compiling information from different countries or from different chapters into one document);
  • existing and new comparative, monitoring or statistical tables; and
  • links to key resources (permanently updated).

In the part on "Intercultural Dialogue", more specific information can be collected on the "Intercultural Cities Index" pages and from our "Database of Good Practice" cases.

Following the decisions of the 10th Conference of Ministers responsible for Culture (Moscow, 15 to 16 April 2013), progress achieved in the work on indicators of the impact of cultural activities on democracy will constantly be monitored via a collection of research papers and (draft) documents (see above).

We look forward to hearing from you! Please send us your comments, research abstracts, policy documents and suggestions using this contact form.