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The relational politics of aesthetics. An introduction


This introductory chapter presents the basic idea and topic of the book – the relations between aesthetics and cultural policy. We understand cultural policy as the organized, mainly but not exclusively public support, economic or otherwise, of the production and distribution of cultural expressions. The chapter gives some introductory answers to these questions: what kind of relations are there between aesthetics and cultural policy? And, furthermore, how can concepts from aesthetical theory shed light on cultural policy practice? The main argument of the chapter is that cultural policy is a practical and pragmatic operationalization of aesthetic theory. This vantage point has analytical relevance both for the analysis of cultural policy, as well as for an empirical discussion of central concepts from the aesthetical canon.