The Fifth Republic famously created a Ministry of Culture. Gaining administrative autonomy led to the implementation of a public policy for culture. We will examine four issues pertaining to the specificities of the French cultural policy: the development of the functions of the ministry, the gradual creation of a partnership with local authorities, the reaction to this policy and the difficult integration of audio-visual media. Finally, it will be necessary to explore recent developments in the cultural policy model, which many commentators believe has been in crisis for over a decade. Studies on cultural policies, which are often supported by the government, have long been approached from a socio-economic perspective for the purposes of proposed policies or those undergoing evaluation (Schuster 2002; Saez 2011). The affirmation of the history of cultural policies and institutions has emerged more recently and in France forms part of a historiographic landscape marked by the upturn in cultural history (Poirrier 2004). Contemporary historians who lay claim to the field of cultural history tend mostly to come from a background in renewed political history (Rioux and Sirinelli 1997). The Ministry of Culture’s History Committee has also played an important role in establishing this field of research, by holding conferences, organising seminars, committing to the compilation of oral records and publishing around 30 works. The multidisciplinary nature of approaches, which draw on all the social sciences, has been strengthened (Poirrier 1999; De Waresquiel 2001; Poirrier 2016b) by the involvement of this committee.