Julkaisu Olli Jakonen

Results-based steering as a tool for centralized art policy management and instrumentalization?

Analysis of the Finnish Arts Council’s reformation

Finland’s cultural policy has been relatively stable for decades, but recent years have brought about certain new developments. This article discusses changes in cultural policy management within the Finnish welfare state. The focus is on the reformation of the Finnish Arts Council system between 2013 and 2019. The article considers the evolution of efforts to widen the Arts Council’s scope from its traditional art promotion role to harness its work more tightly to serve governmental policies and to adopt performance management practices over recent years.

The article examines the steering of the Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike), founded in 2013. It analyses different policy instruments used in Taike’s steering, such as legal and administrative instruments, as well as subsidies it allocates to cultural actors, to examine general cultural policy intentions and public sector management practices behind Taike’s foundation and development. The main research method is a qualitative content analysis supported by data on subsidies to illustrate changes in art funding policies. Taike’s scope as an implementer of cultural policy has widened considerably since its foundation. Performance management ties Taike to the government programmes. Social and economic instrumental types are attached thoroughly to Taike’s operations along the traditional aesthetic instrumentality.

Following the general developments in the Finnish public sector, the role of civil servants has strengthened while the arts field’s power has diminished. The current hybrid model of Finnish art policy administration via Taike is found to combine elements of both welfare and competition state steering models. Despite some New Public Management (NPM)-oriented steering mechanisms, the role of laws and resource steering are also central to instrumentalization. Furthermore, endogenous factors, administrational politics, and civil servants of the cultural sector play key roles in instrumentalization.

Project researchers