Orchestrating French Music Conservatories: European Political Interventions and Local Governance


Author: Elena Raevskikh, Centre Norbert Elias, France
Email: [email protected]
Published: March 1, 2017

Citation: Raevskikh, E. (2017). Orchestrating French Music Conservatories: European Political Interventions and Local Governance. IAFOR Journal of Education, 5(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.5.1.09


Supported by the omnipresent State in the past, French music education leans increasingly towards a more liberal and competitive model. In the current context of a decentralized economy and European integration, music conservatories are called upon to contribute to regional and municipal development and enhance European student mobility. How do conservatories react to the restructuring of the competitive field? How do they affect European territorial cohesion? Are they managing adaptive or hybrid strategies with new conceptions of music education? Alternatively, do they gradually move away from the marketplace and become an obsolete and difficult heritage to maintain? To answer these questions, it is necessary to analyze the current balance of power among the different elements of the French multi-level system of conservatories, including communal, inter-communal, departmental, regional, national and European institutions. By combining different sources of spatial and statistical data, this paper contributes to constructing a comparative institutional geography of French multi-level territorial divisions. Extraction and treatment of the small data with SPSS statistical software allowed us to build a number of small-scale datasets that were merged to broader geographical databases from the French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE). The geographical units that structure the INSEE databases (the zip and district codes, codes of regions, departments, GPS coordinates) made possible the location of each conservatory within municipal, departmental, regional and national spaces. A cartographic approach to studying music conservatories allows the identification of problems that deserve further detailed qualitative and statistical study in the future.


cultural policies, music education, cultural institutions, European integration, territorial administration, institutional geography