Public funding for culture in Sweden

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In 1974, Sweden won the Eurovision Song Contest with ABBA’s song Waterloo. ABBA is still one of the best-known names in Swedish pop, alongside others such as Max Martin and Avicii. The same year saw the birth of Swedish cultural policy as a coherent and distinct national policy area, explicitly supporting inhabitants’ access to culture beyond the commercial market. Sweden is still one of the primary music-exporting countries of the world, a position many claim to be the result of extensive public support for democratically-accessible music and cultural welfare society (Swedish Institute, 2017). Government support to culture, or certain kinds of culture, can be and has been questioned. This chapter will take a closer look at the funding of culture in Sweden, in particular public funding, and at arguments for public funding of culture. As Sweden is commonly described as a welfare country, the political concept of welfare in relation to cultural policy will also be discussed. The article finds that both public and private funding of culture has a solid basis in Sweden, but that general welfare structures in place paradoxically make accessing welfare difficult for some groups of professionals in the field of culture.
Titel på värdpublikationCultural policy in the Nordic welfare states
Undertitel på värdpublikationAims and functions of public funding for culture
RedaktörerSakarias Sokka
FörlagNordic Council of Ministers
VolymNord 2022:005
ISBN (elektroniskt)978-92-893-7218-3
ISBN (tryckt)978-92-893-7100-1
StatusPublished - 2022

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Företagsekonomi
  • Studier av offentlig förvaltning

Fria nyckelord

  • cultural policy
  • public expenditure
  • Sweden
  • welfare state
  • Cultural Partnership Model
  • cultural economics

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