In Paris, the rearrangement of the balance between city, periphery and national territory creates tensions also shown in the area of cultural policies. Concentrating on the recent conflict between the Comédie Française and other local cultural actors in Bobigny, this paper shows how national initiatives for cultural planning in the metropolitan region are rooted in a project of democratisation and decentralisation on a national scale, which could be defined as ‘cultural Keynesianism’. The paper maintains that similar processes and tensions are more comprehensible if placed within local cultural ‘scenes’ that include places designated for culture as well as other amenities and cultural practices. In this way the event in Bobigny is explained by considering the cultural policies and experiments in participatory democracy within this territorial context.
Keywords: Metropolisation; cultural policy; participatory democracy