Participatory Governance in Culture
Conference Rijeka 2017

Call for papers

Scholars, researchers, theoreticians, cultural operators, artists, practitioners, activists and policymakers are invited to submit paper, presentation or panel proposals for the Conference.

Proposals from all relevant disciplines will be considered, provided that they make an original contribution to the theme of participatory governance in culture.


The necessity of new models of governance in culture has become a European and global issue in recent decades. Traditional public governance and market-oriented governance systems have increasingly proven inadequate to respond to the complex realities of policy challenges and ongoing transformations in the socio-economic environment, encompassing the needs of cultural professionals and artists, audiences and local communities. Due to public governance deficiencies and market failures, many cultural initiatives around the globe are introducing new perspectives that challenge traditional governance models and are experimenting with innovative approaches to governance surpassing the conventional and representative institutional frameworks. In effect, these diverse examples demonstrate reorganizations in existing structures and regimes of governance through practices and actions of participatory and collaborative governance that entail non-hierarchical forms and institutional formats of interaction and relations between public, private and civil society stakeholders. These institutional changes open up an understanding of culture as shared resources and position the practicing of culture within a commons perspective.
A number of new terms are used to describe the development of many different versions and forms of arrangements between various stakeholders in the process of co-governance. Since joint activities and structures, as well as participatory decision-making processes regarding shared resources and common goods, heavily depend on local context, examples of participatory governance address diverse context-related problems and issues, and feature different arrangements of horizontal relationships and shared responsibilities of various stakeholders in the process of governance. Participatory governance in the domain of culture is becoming particularly relevant in dealing with increasing social inclusion, (re)instating cultural democracy at local levels and strengthening the position of local communities. At the same time, the extent to which these practices have been affirmed, developed, adopted and promoted by existing policy structures, instruments and theories, is also context-dependent. Therefore, there is a vital need for research in participatory governance practices, theories and policies that can be utilized as a knowledge resource for sustainable cultural planning and development.
The Conference intends to cover a number of issues and concerns about the challenges, limitations, paradoxes and perspectives that cultural research, practices and policies are increasingly facing around the concept of participatory governance in culture. In order to understand the meaning and role of participatory governance in culture, it is important to explore: changes in the socio-political context, cultural and social effects of new models of governance, modes and levels of involvement of all relevant stakeholders in decision-making processes and the (re)organization and relevance of their roles. Consequently, the Conference aims to explore the domain of participatory governance in culture from various angles, involving topics such as: 1) the implications of participation for democratic values in public (cultural) policies; 2) the complexities of power relations and authority devolution between different stakeholders; 3) differences among private, public and common interests of all relevant stakeholders; 4) ethics of participation; and 5) institutional and policies change and innovation. The Conference is looking for a wide range of conceptual and empirical case studies, as well as papers exploring different aspects of participatory governance in national and local policy contexts across a variety of socio-political geographies.
We invite scholars, researchers, theoreticians, cultural operators, artists, practitioners, activists, policymakers and decision-makers from across the world and broad range of disciplines – anthropology, architecture, arts, arts and cultural management, cultural policy studies, cultural studies, development studies, economy, legal studies, philosophy, political science, urbanism and spatial planning, sociology, etc. – to submit paper, presentation or panel proposals addressing the topic of participatory governance in culture through any one or combination of the following issues:    


We accept proposals for individual and collective presentations as well as full panels. Proposals should be composed using e-forms available through links below:

All presenters must submit an abstract not exceeding 300 words. For panel proposals, organizers must submit abstracts for each presentation as well as the concept of the panel (300 word maximum).

The deadline for submitting presentations and panel proposals is 15th July 2017.

All presentations proposals must include the following:
1) A title
2) Author(s)
3) Institutional affiliation(s) of author(s)
4) Author(s) short biography (300 words maximum)
5) Contact details (including email and full postal address) of corresponding author
6) Abstract (300 words maximum)
7) Keywords (4 - 6)

Paper proposals can only be submitted in English.

All panel proposals must include the following:
1) A title of the panel
2) Concept of the panel
3) Chair and institutional affiliation
4) Authors and institutional affiliations of authors
5) Chair and authors short biography (300 words maximum)
6) Contact details (including email and full postal address) of corresponding chair
7) Title, abstract (300 words maximum) and keywords (4 – 6) for each paper
Panel proposals can only be submitted in English.

Please complete the appropriate e-form and submit before the deadline.  

Paper proposals submitted by e-mail and/or after the deadline cannot be considered.


All verbal presentations must be given in English.

Each presentation is timed at 20 minutes for presentation and 10 minutes for questions and discussion. Therefore, it is impossible for authors to present their paper in its entirety. We strongly recommend that you time and rehearse your presentation in order to comfortably fit it into this time limit.

In the Proposal E-form, please indicate any audiovisual equipment you will need for your presentation.


Please note that the all selected authors who want to be considered for inclusion in a book publication on participatory governance in culture (with ISBN number), co-edited by Nancy Duxbury, PhD (Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal) and Dea Vidovic, PhD (Director of Kultura Nova Foundation, Zagreb, Croatia) and published by Kultura Nova Foundation in cooperation with the European Cultural Foundation, should submit the full paper (between 5,000 and 9,000 words in length, not including references).

The deadline for submitting full papers is 15th December 2017.

After the conference, authors will have a chance to update their presentations based on the comments and discussion received during the conference.

More detailed information regarding full paper submission for the publication will be provided at 15th September 2017.


All proposals will be evaluated by the Scientific committee of the conference.



Any questions about the abstract submission and/or Conference should be e-mailed to