The Indicator Framework on Culture and Democracy (IFCD)
Investigating the links between culture and a democratic society
The IFCD is a tool for assessing cultural policies and examining links between culture and democracy within and among Council of Europe member states. Developed especially for policy makers, practitioners, advocates, and researchers, the IFCD sheds light on countries' positions in terms of culture and democracy, possible linkages between key aspects, and opportunities for policy intervention, advocacy, and research.
Created by the Hertie School of Governance in collaboration with the Council of Europe, the IFCD is part of a process to develop indicators on the impact of cultural activities on democracy and to map related trends and developments at a pan-European level.
Why culture and democracy?
Strong, well-functioning democracies and abundant cultural opportunities are increasingly linked together, especially by policy makers and analysts. Societies are said to be more open and tolerant, better functioning, and economically stronger where people have easy access to a wide range of cultural activities and where participation rates in these activities are high. Cultural activities are one way to build citizens’ skills in self-expression, critical thinking, and opinion formation – skills that are essential for working democracies.
Within the IFCD, culture relates mainly to cultural activity rather than ‘existing’ culture. It includes market and non-market cultural action, products (including intellectual property), and services carried out by any individual or collective actor. Democracy is understood as a form of government in which citizens have opportunities to choose representatives that reflect their values and opinions, and to influence decisions; political party competition is institutionalised and executive power controlled; and basic civil rights and liberties are protected by an independent and impartial judiciary.
Coverage and data
As of December 2017, the IFCD assembles a wealth of data on various aspects of culture and democracy covering 43 Council of Europe member states: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. As more data becomes available over time, additional indicators and member states may be added.
For ease of use and presentation, the data underlying the IFCD are transformed into scores that reflect a country’s distance above or below the average of all included countries. This data is then aggregated into indicators, components and dimensions of the IFCD framework. For more detailed information, download the IFCD Policy Maker’s Guidebook.