Head of Division, Senior Lecturer Arts Management and Cultural Policy

Division: Media, Communication and Performing Arts

Tel: 0131 474 0000

Dr David Stevenson (PhD, MA, BA (Hons) is Head of Division Media, Communication and Performing Arts and a Lecturer in the Media, Communication and Performing Arts Division. He is also a full member of the Centre for Communication, Cultural and Media Studies.

  • Overview
  • Research Interests
  • Research Publications
  • Teaching & Learning
  • Activities & Awards

David is Head of Division Media, Communication and Performing Arts. He is also a Programme Leader for the postgraduate MA in Arts, Festival and Cultural Management and a full member of the Centre for Communication, Cultural and Media Studies. David’s PhD was awarded for his thesis entitled: Understanding Cultural Non-Participation: Discursive structures, articulatory practice and cultural domination. David’s qualifications also include an MA (Distinction) in Arts and Cultural Management, and a BA (First Class) in Art History. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and the Royal Society of Arts. David is Policy Reviews Editor of the international journal, Cultural Trends and acts as external examiner in Arts Management at Kings College, London and DeMontfort University, Leicester. David has served as a board member of a number of arts organisations, and is currently on the board of the Out of the Blue Arts Education Trust. David has particular expertise in the following areas:

Cultural Policy, Cultural Participation, Cultural Value, Arts Management, Third Sector Governance, Fundraising and Development, Qualitative Research Methods and Discourse Analysis

David is open to undertaking PhD supervision in either of these areas, and will also consider proposals in relation to the other subjects in which he has expertise.

Affiliations/Memberships to Other Organisations:

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Fellow of the RSA

Research/Knowledge Exchange Centre Membership:

David’s research is concerned with two distinct, but interrelated areas of enquiry. The first focuses on relations of power and the production of value within the cultural sector. Previous research has considered power relationships within the cultural sector, cultural participation, and cultural value. David’s second strand of research seeks to provide insight and understanding about the contingent and context dependent nature of organisational success in the arts and cultural sector. The dominant narrative about organisational management in this sector is often one of crisis, and yet there are numerous individuals and organisations that have achieved ‘success’ through effectively managing their resources relative to both the environmental context in which they work and the inherent risks of the cultural production they take part in.

Active Research Interests:

  • Cultural policy, Cultural value, Cultural participation, Sustainability and resilience of subsidised arts organisations, Success and failure in the cultural sector, Participatory policy making, Relations of power in the cultural sector, Equality and diversity in cultural production

Research Methods:

  • Interpretative Policy Analysis, Discourse Analysis, Qualitative Content Analysis, Thematic Analysis, Qualitative Interviewing

PhD Supervision:

David is interested in supervising PhDs related to Arts Management and/or Cultural Policy. At present, he is supervising the following projects:

  • Annetta Latham: What it means to fail, and is the bidding process enough? A comparative study of the work undertaken in the bidding process for the City of Culture in Dundee, Leicester and Swansea Bay.
  • Katey Warran: Communities at the Fringe: An organisational ethnography of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society (AHRC CES Scholarship in partnership with the University of Edinburgh)
  • Nicola Kane: Making Art & Making a Living: The role of festivals in contemporary arts careers (AHRC CES Scholarship in partnership with the University of Edinburgh)

Drawing on his academic research alongside 10 years of management experience in the public and private sector, David teaches at both undergraduate and postgraduate level in the fields of Arts Management and Cultural Policy. While believing that creative practice should not be managed, he is an advocate of the need for effective strategic management in the running of cultural organisations. As such, his teaching focuses on the knowledge and skills required by those who wish to ensure the continued availability of the spaces and resources in which cultural activity can take place.

David is joint programme leader for the postgraduate MA in Arts, Festival and Cultural Management.

2013 – Convener of the one day colloquium on Cultural Policy in Scotland

2016 – Convener of the one day colloquium on Equality and Diversity in Cultural Production

2016 – On behalf of Arts Council Malta, delivered training on Strategic Management to a selected cohort of Maltese arts managers

2017 – Host for the American Association of Arts Administration Educators Annual Conference