Research Projects

Independent Performing Arts in Europe - 
Organizational Structure and Governance in Contemporary European Performing Arts

Project lead: Thomas Fabian Eder

Duration: 04/2020 - 12/2022

Partner: EAIPA – European Association of Independent Performing Arts

Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich 

Associated with: Krisengefüge der Künste – Institutionelle Transformationsdynamiken 

in den darstellenden Künsten der Gegenwart (DFG. FOR 2734) 

Type: PhD Project

Publikationen: Monograph and Article


The independent Performing Arts in Europe prevail balanced between aspiration and serenity empowered through the inventiveness and high quality of production while hindered by its precariousness. Arts professionals throughout the continent organize in advocacy associations with the aim of improving their working and living conditions. Yet a conceptualization of the organizational field as well as a direct overview comparing independent performing arts communities and their conditions for production in Europe is missing. This study fills the gap. Creating a basis for comparison allows the respective strengths and weaknesses of the different organizational fields in Europe to be determined. Using a mixed-methods approach data is collected through a quantitative survey and through qualitative expert interviews. While the qualitative sub study provides relevant information comparing the countries with each other with regard to their performing arts communities, infrastructures funding systems and the social status of their performing arts professionals in reference to organizational theory, the quantitative sub study contains an analysis laying focus on advocacy strategies within the theoretical framework of participatory governance.

Link to a working paper resulting from the research

Introduction to the Independent Performing Arts in Europe - 
Eight European Performing Arts Structures at a Glance

Project lead: Thomas Fabian Eder

Duration: 06/2018 - 12/2018

Partner:  EAIPA – European Association of Independent Performing Arts

Type: Research project

Publication: Monograph and article


The independent performing arts communities in Europe operate on a highly international level. While the aesthetics, social historical positioning and content-based orientation of the field show similarities throughout the continent, the disparity in the diverse living and working realities of artists and theater makers becomes very clear. With this research EAIPA – the newly founded European Association of Independent Performing Arts – is publishing the first direct overview, comparing eight independent performing arts communities from countries reaching from Scandinavia to Eastern-, Central- and Southwestern Europe. Creating a basis for comparison, this brochure serves as a distinct orientation guide and aims to inspire the individual performing arts communities in their struggle for worthy living and working conditions through political advocacy. While the first part of the publication provides relevant information on each country, their performing arts communities, infrastructures, funding systems and the social status of their performing arts professionals, the second part contains an analysis, graphs and figures comparing the countries with each other leading to a number of specific questions and suggestions for further research.

The Second Reality of Entertainment -
From Cultural to Organizational Performance in Corporate Public Events

Project lead: Thomas Fabian Eder

Duration: 01/2012 - 06/2012

Partner:  Zeppelin University

Type: Master Thesis 


The study of the theatricality of business and the commerciality of the performing arts through the example of corporate public events is long overdue. Cultural production and corporate expressiveness (Schultz, Hatch, & Larsen, 2000) have formed a bond in recent years and are successfully in business with each other. Performers and directors, audio, visual, and electronic artists, musicians and dancers and others, traditionally located in the field of cultural production, are increasingly engaged in processes of internal and external corporate communication. This paper focuses on a particular account of this development, namely the integration of artistic expression into public corporate events. The use of a measure to players from two differentiated systems, the cultural organization producing the event and the company commissioning it, seems to hold potential for conflict. The use of live performance, which is a medium that creates real life experiences and blurs the boundaries between the real and the so-called second or staged reality (Luhmann, 1996), promises uncontrollable effects that challenge this collaboration. Using the example of the ‘10th Berlin Winter Salon - Stories in Yurts’ a corporate public event in which 'Der Literarische Salon Britta Gansebohm' and the 'Werbegemeinschaft Sony Center GbR' collaborate, an analysis will derive challenges and benefits for both sides. In addition, expert interviews with producers and consultants from agencies with experience in producing corporate public events, complement the theoretical assumptions with practical considerations.