Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Art in Public
Politics, Economics, and a Democratic Culture

$90.00 (P)

  • Date Published: November 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521112741

$ 90.00 (P)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Paperback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • This book examines fundamental questions about funding for the arts: Why should governments provide funding for the arts? What do the arts contribute to daily life? Do artists and their publics have a social responsibility? Challenging questionable assumptions about the state, the arts, and a democratic society, Lambert Zuidervaart presents a vigorous case for government funding, based on crucial contributions the arts make to civil society. He argues that the arts contribute to democratic communication and a social economy, fostering the critical and creative dialogue that a democratic society needs. Informed by the author’s experience leading a nonprofit arts organization as well as his expertise in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, this book proposes an entirely new conception of the public role of art with wide-ranging implications for education, politics, and cultural policy.

    • Addresses one of the most troublesome public debates in North America - the ongoing controversy over government funding for the arts - and shows why the terms of this debate need to be changed
    • Proposes a new conception of art in public that has provocative implications for education, politics and cultural policy, using actual experience in a contemporary arts centre as a touchstone for philosophical reflections
    • Ranges masterfully and creatively across the arts, humanities and social sciences to propose a richly textured philosophy of civil society and cultural democracy
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "… this volume presents a strong philosophical defense of government funding of the arts in democratic cultures. It takes issue with philosophers such as Rawls, Dworkin, and Feinberg. Although its arguments are heavily philosophical, they are deeply engaged with the sociocultural dimensions - the economic, social-political, and general cultural justifications - of art … This is a major scholarly discussion on the subject … Highly recommended …"
    R. E. Palmer, Choice

    "Anyone who has followed the periodic "culture wars" that break out whenever some outraged congressman attacks a piece of government funded art he or she finds offensive and is counter-attacked by an equally outraged critic who defends artists' freedom to do anything they want will find this book a welcome relief … Zuidervaart offers a philosophically sophisticated reflection that exposes the false assumptions shared by both "traditionalists" and "transgressivists" … the book is extremely well organized, the writing clear, and careful conceptual distinctions abound … One of the book's great strengths is its comprehensiveness … for those who are looking for a more thoughtful and well grounded consideration of the issue of government funding and, above all, of the appropriate place of the arts in our social and political life, Zuidervaart has given us an indispensible book."
    Larry Shiner, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

    "… I highly recommend Art in Public to anyone interested in public art in general, and for [anyone] involved in more specific discussions about government funding of the arts, it should be required reading."
    Jason Simus, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism

    "The central aim of Lambert Zuidervaart’s Art in Public can be stated in a phrase: to defend direct state subsidies for non-profit arts organizations … That art is currently in the stage of wholesale global institutionalization makes Zuidervaart’s account of its relation to justice and democracy invaluable."
    Philosophy in Review

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2010
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521112741
    • length: 354 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Double Deficit:
    1. Culture wars
    2. What good is art?
    3. Just art?
    Part II. Civil Society:
    4. Public sphere
    5. Civic sector
    6. Countervailing forces
    Part III. Modernism Remixed:
    7. Relational autonomy
    8. Authenticity and responsibility
    9. Democratic culture
    10. Transforming cultural policy.

  • Author

    Lambert Zuidervaart, University of Toronto
    Lambert Zuidervaart is Professor of Philosophy at the Institute for Christian Studies, where he holds the Herman Dooyeweerd Chair in Social and Political Philosophy, and an Associate member of the Graduate Faculty in Philosophy at the University of Toronto. He is the former President of the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His most recent books with Cambridge University Press - Artistic Truth: Aesthetics, Discourse, and Imaginative Disclosure and Social Philosophy after Adorno - received Symposium Book Awards from the Canadian Society for Continental Philosophy in 2006 and 2008, respectively. His book Adorno's Aesthetic Theory (1991) was the first major study in English on Adorno's aesthetics.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.