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. His most recent work explores the extent to which the ‘problem’ of cultural non-participation has been constructed in the discourses, policies and practices of publically funded cultural organisations. Previous research has considered power relationships within cultural sector networks as well as ideas of cultural value and the methods that can be used to effectively express this to policymakers and funders. 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

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.

Programme Leader:

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


David is module coordinator for:  

  • TM156 People Management, Governance and Law (PG)
  • TM170 Understanding Research (PG)
  • TM171 Strategic Management and Finance (PG)
  • TM156 Marketing Cultural Organisations and Festivals (PG)

Other modules on which David teaches, includes:

  • TM166 Managing Cultural Projects and Festivals (PG)
  • TM172 Fundraising and Development in the Arts (PG)
  • TM175 Arts Management in Practice (PG)
  • TM165 Critical Issues in Cultural Management and Policy (PG)
  • T3186 Independent Research Project (UG)

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