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Maike Ludley

mludleyPhD student

Email: M dot Ludley at warwick dot ac dot uk


I am a second 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 interests

The working title for my thesis is 'Framing the discourse: The roles of language, argumentation and rhetoric in cultural policy making.'

The idea of evidence-based policymaking as the key to good decisions has dominated both practice and research in public policy for over 25 years, resulting in an increasing demand for policy assessment. 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 evidence in decision-making processes in the cultural policy sphere. I aim to develop a new approach to cultural policy analysis from an argumentative perspective, allowing 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.

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.