Culture is sometimes taken as the icing on the cake, an additional flavour to spice up ordinary life or simply as entertainment. A political approach, however, broaches the question of the impact of culture on citizens and society. Two key issues are to determine how cultural participation relates to democracy and whether culture can foster active citizenship.This book explores the social effects of culture arid explains how cultural participation contributes to building citizenship in modern, democratic societies. Culture is described as a strategic asset which can help meet the challenges of growing diversity and the complexity of life today. Policy makers should consider its added value in relation to making democracy work and enhancing social cohesion and inclusion. Cultural policies should seek to optimise this great potential.