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The Effects of Administrative Reforms on the Activities of Advocacy Groups

Pierre­-André Hudon

September 2008

In recent years, the  role of organizations in  the cultural sector has undergone radical change.  Having started out as relatively autonomous interest representation groups acting in the political realm, they now find themselves  to be partners of government at various levels  in  the planning and implementation of public  policy.  The adaptation of organizational capabilities  to  this new paradigm,  in  which  government  funding  is  ever­decreasing,  has  thus  become  an  essential  survival skill.

Accordingly, this  study  sets  out  to analyze  changes  in  public  governance  in  recent  years,  to assess the cultural sector’s adaptation to this new environment, and to lay out potential future orientations for the sector.

The methodology combines a literature review covering  theory applicable to the non­profit and community­based sector­ and to the cultural sector specifically­ with a threefold case study. The paper opens with an overview of recent administrative reforms, considering their impact on  organizations in the non­profit and community­based sector. It then moves on to an analysis of the specificities of  the cultural sector, and  the challenges it faces. The following sections cover the  strategies  which  comparable  sectors  ­environmentalism,  forestry,  and  feminism­  have
adopted to respond to these shifts. The study closes by highlighting the findings relevant to the cultural sector, and does so along three orientations: the organization of the cultural sector, the legitimacy of its demands, and the nature of its activities.

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