The democratic development potential of a cultural ecosystem approach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Culture is increasingly being deployed as a tool to deliver on development policy. This article understands ‘development’ as a process rather than simply an outcome — not unlike how culture has been understood (and has a long history of such) as a ‘noun of process’ (Williams, 1976: 87). This has been usefully summed up by Duxbury, Kangas & De Beukelaer (1999), referencing Sen as the underlying idea that ‘development should not be considered as a finality (generally expressed in a monetary value derived from work) but the extent to which people are able to participate in political, social and economic life’ (2017: 216). Development policy encompasses a broad range of foci from the industrial and economic to sustainable and Human Development agendas. Cultural policy itself is now predominantly framed within a model of economic growth, which limits opportunities to discuss more inclusive, accessible and participatory aspects that form this article’s interest in a specifically democratic form of development. This article expands on this interest in the context of the potential for cultural policy to facilitate inclusive relationships from local to international scale, and to broaden the discussion of ‘growth’ beyond the economic — using the ‘cultural ecosystem’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-98
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Law, Social Justice and Global Development
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

The Journal of Law, Social Justice & Global Development is an open access (OA) journal published by the University of Warwick.


  • creative industries
  • local and international development
  • cultural policy


Dive into the research topics of 'The democratic development potential of a cultural ecosystem approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this