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Maike Ludley

mludleyPhD student

Email: M dot Ludley at warwick dot ac dot uk


I am a third year PhD student in Cultural Policy Studies. I hold a Master’s degree with Distinction in International Cultural Policy and Management from the Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies, University of Warwick and a Bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature and Philosophy from the Free University of Berlin, Germany. My research is funded through the Centre for Arts Doctoral Research Excellence (CADRE) at the University of Warwick. I am also a scholar of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (German Academic Scholarship Foundation). From January to March 2019, I was a visiting PhD student at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.

Research project

What drives cultural policy making? In my research project provisionally entitled “Framing discourse: Language, meaning and knowledge in public cultural policy making”, I am examining the roles that language plays in cultural policy processes and argue that far too little attention has been paid to its impact in the study of cultural policies. The multilayered topic of “language” as research object explores links between frames, narratives and stories, as well as those between rhetoric, linguistic features, argumentation and evidence. To understand the cultural policy process better, I am developing a new interpretive approach to cultural policy analysis and research that takes into account the specifics of the cultural policy field and the crucial role of language for political processes. In particular, the project explores how language, in various forms, can be analysed as a key factor in mediating between various actors’ ideologies and institutional constraints in cultural policy-making processes. These aspects have been studied for other policy sectors, but have received scant attention by cultural policy researchers and there has been little discussion about the peculiarities of culture as a field of public policy. I argue that “culture” differs significantly from other public policy fields. It is characterised by methodological and ontological challenges that hinder the evaluation of policy outcomes. Language, however, plays a major role in the policy process helping policy actors to make the case for “culture” as a versatile catalyst for society.

My research focuses on the role of language and knowledge in decision-making processes in the cultural policy sphere. I aim to develop a new approach to cultural policy analysis from an interpretative perspective, allowing for an innovative and more realistic understanding of policymaking. Deviating from the concept of policymaking as a rational process, I want to examine how fundamental assumptions about the effects of “culture” constitute frames that significantly shape policy discourse.

My research project is supervised by Dr Clive Gray.


I have taught on the MA course "International Cultural Policy and Management" at the Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies.

Conferences and presentations

"No such thing as “Cultural Policy Studies”? Reflections on an essentially interdisciplinary discipline", presentation at PG Annual Symposium of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Warwick, 23rd May 2018.

"Talking Culture: The role of language for cultural policy making", presentation at PhD student forum organised by Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, Münster (Germany), 8th–11th March 2018.

“Cultural Policymaking as discourse – The case of the European Capital of Culture RUHR.2010”, paper presented at DiscourseNet Congress #2, University of Warwick, 13th–15th September 2017.

Professional associations

  • Associate Fellow of Higher Education Academy
  • Member of Political Studies Association
  • Member of Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft e.V.