Professor Oliver Bennett
Founder of the Centre for Cultural Policy Studies
Tel: +44 (0)24 765 24399
Email: O dot Bennett at warwick dot ac dot uk
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7HS
Professor Oliver Bennett established Warwick's Centre for Cultural Policy Studies in 1999, having previously established the MA in European Cultural Policy and Management in 1993. He directed both the Centre and the MA course until 2008. He has published widely on cultural policy, intellectual history and cultural politics. He is the founding editor of the International Journal of Cultural Policy and a founder member of the Scientific Committee of the International Conference on Cultural Policy Research (ICCPR). In 2012, he was awarded a higher doctorate (DLitt) by Warwick for his contributions to cultural policy research.
Professor Bennett's current research focuses on the institutional promotion of hope, conceived as a form of ‘implicit’ cultural policy [click here for further details]. He has a long-standing interest in questions of pessimism/optimism and has recently completed a sequel to his book, Cultural Pessimism: Narratives of Decline in the Postmodern World (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2001). Entitled Cultures of Optimism: The Institutional Promotion of Hope (Palgrave Macmillan 2015), this book explores how and why powerful institutions propagate 'cultures of optimism' in different domains, such as politics, work, the family, religion and psychotherapy.
In recent years, Professor Bennett has also investigated the role of religious institutions as agents of ‘implicit’ cultural policy, publishing a series of articles on the topic and co-editing, with Professor Jeremy Ahearne, a special issue of the International Journal of Cultural Policy on ‘religion and cultural policy’ [click here for further details].
Teaching and supervision
Professor Bennett co-teaches, with Professor Jeremy Ahearne, the taught postgraduate module, ‘Cultural Policy Outside Cultural Policy’.
Current PhD students
- Anna Roh: Christianity, Politics and Cultural Policy: The Case of the Korean Workers Party
- Bennett, O. Cultures of Optimism: The Institutional Promotion of Hope (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)
- Bennett, O. ‘The Manufacture of Hope: Religion, Eschatology and the Culture of Optimism’, in Jeremy Ahearne and Oliver Bennett (eds), International Journal of Cultural Policy: Special Issue on Religion and Cultural Policy, 17.2 (2011), 115-130
- Bennett, O. ‘Cultures of Optimism’, Cultural Sociology, 5.2 (2011), 301-320
- Bennett, O. ‘Strategic Canonization: Sanctity, Popular Culture and the Catholic Church’, in David Looseley (ed), Policy and the Popular (London: Routledge, 2011), pp.78-95 [also translated into Spanish and published as "La canonización estratégica: Santidad, cultura popular y la Iglesia Católica", Denken Pensée Thought Mysl, Criterios, 24, April 2012]
- Bennett, O. 'On Religion and Cultural Policy: Notes on the Roman Catholic Church', International Journal of Cultural Policy: Special Issue on 'Implicit Cultural Policies', 15.2 (2009), 56-170 [also translated into Spanish and published as 'Sobre religión y política cultural: Notas sobre la Iglesia Católica Romana', Criterios, 37 (2012), 97-124]
- Belfiore, E. & Bennett O. The Social Impact of the Arts: An Intellectual History, (Basingstoke: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2008), 240pp [2nd edition, in paperback, published 2010]
- Bennett, O. ‘Intellectuals, Romantics and Cultural Policy', in Jeremy Ahearne and Oliver Bennett (eds), Intellectuals and Cultural Policy (London: Routledge, 2007), pp.3-19
- Bennett, O. ‘Beyond Machinery: The Cultural Policies of Matthew Arnold’, History of Political Economy, Vol 37, No 3 (2005), 455-482
- Bennett, O. Cultural Pessimism: Narratives of Decline in the Postmodern World (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2001), 224pp [also translated into Italian and published as Pessimismo Culturale by Il Mulino in 2003]
- Bennett, O. ‘Cultural Policy, Cultural Pessimism and Postmodernity’, International Journal of Cultural Policy, 4.1 (1997), 67-84 [also translated into Finnish and published as ‘Kultturpolitikka, kulttuuripessimismi ja postmoderniteetti’, in Anita Kangas & Juha Virkki, eds, Kulttuuripolitiikan uudet vaateet (Jyväskylä: SoPhi Jyväskylän ylipisto, 1999)]
- Bennett, O. ‘Cultural Policy and the Crisis of Legitimacy: Entrepreneurial Answers in the United Kingdom’, Kultur I Norden: Forskning & Praktik, 4 (1996), 15-29
- Bennett, O. ‘Cultural Policy and Management in Europe’, Tidskrift för Kultur Studier, 1 (1995), 108-120
- Bennett, O. 'Cultural Policy in the United Kingdom: Collapsing Rationales and the End of a Tradition', European Journal of Cultural Policy, 1.2 (1995), 15-32
- Bennett, O. 'British Cultural Policies: 1979 - 1990’ Boekmancahier, 9 (1991), 293-301 [Also translated into Finnish and published as 'Ison-Britannian Kultturpolitikka 1979 - 1990', Arsis, 4 (1992), 36-42]
If you would like to see me please email for an appointment. I will normally respond within 24 hours.