Arts and the University: Institutional logics in the developing world and beyond


  • Christopher B. Balme




This paper discusses the emergence of arts education at universities and associated institutions of higher learning in the developing world after 1945. In the first part, the question of the university as an institution will be discussed from the point of view of neo-institutional theory and especially the processes of isomorphism that have been frequently described in this theoretical approach. The second section examines the emergence of arts education in the Global South between 1950 and 1970, i.e. at the height of the Cold War. The third section proposes a topology of arts education and the differential realisation of these models in different parts of the world. The final section shows how in one country in the Global South, New Zealand, concrete steps have been taken at universities to realise a decolonial epistemology through the creation of culturally specific spaces which adhere to the cultural exigencies of the host cultures.

Author Biography

Christopher B. Balme

Christopher Balme holds the chair in theatre studies at LMU Munich. His publications include Pacific Performances: Theatricality and Cross-Cultural Encounter in the South Seas (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007); Cambridge Introduction to Theatre Studies (CUP, 2008); The theatrical public sphere (CUP, 2014); The Globalization of Theatre 1870-1930: The Theatrical Networks of Maurice E. Bandmann, (CUP, 2020). He is principal investigator of the ERC Advanced Grant “Developing Theatre: Building Expert Networks for Theatre in Emerging Countries after 1945”.