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Lecture 9 - Policy

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Indrek Ibrus

on 13 April 2018

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Transcript of Lecture 9 - Policy

The policies and governance of cultural industries
Dr Indrek Ibrus
Practical definition: Public Policy is „whatever governments choose to do or not to do“ (Dye 2005)

Why do governments provide the specific types of goods and services that they do?

The traditional answer: Market failure provides the basis for public sector involvement in the economy

Traditionally allocated via the public sector‘s budget rather than through the market mechanism

Creative Industries approach: to support growth, export, etc. - not 'market failure', but investments into market growth, (dealing with 'coordination failures')
Intervention mechanisms
Financial (Grants, Loans, etc.)
Fiscal (VAT reduction, Tax benefits)
Regulatory (Copyright, Local cinema quota)
Information (Awards, Honours, Quality Marks)
Relational (One Stop Shop, Intergovernmental agreements, etc.)
Historical Development of Policy Thinking
The commercialisation of cultural production began in the 19th century with the transition from feudalism to capitalism.

This commercialisation intensified in advanced industrial societies from the early twentieth century onwards (Bourdieu 1996 and Williams 1981).

The rise of the cultural industries was bound up with the rise of ‘mass culture’.

This has been troubling many twentieth century intellectuals and other elites.
Fears of the industrialisation and debasement of art and culture fed cultural policy-making in complex ways.

In Western Europe they led in the directions of democratisation, inclusion and greater access, in the form of projects intended to make art available to the ‘the people’ (see McGuigan 2004: 38-9)

But also towards exclusivity, in the form of subsidy for certain forms of "high culture", rather for forms associated with working-class and minority groups.

The commercially oriented private cultural industries were the ‘other’ against which cultural policy reacted, in the shape of arts subsidies, but also in the formation of public service broadcasting in some countries (Hesmondhalgh & Pratt 2005).
But by the early 1980s, it was becoming increasingly difficult for cultural policy-makers to ignore the growing cultural industries.

The first major attempt to address the rise of the cultural industries in policy circles took place at the international level, driven by UNESCO concerns about the unequal cultural resources of North and South.

Next step: local level - Greater London Council, Sheffield (invention of 'cultural quarter' concept. Unusual and innovative at the time: cultural industries were conceived as part of a local economic strategy.

Next: 'Creative Industries' concept - Australian and the UK governments - national level.

In the 70s & 80s the idea that state-owned monopolies in telecommunications were justified and the idea that broadcasting was a scarce national resource became challenged.

This unleashed marketisation on the media and communications sectors - began in the US in the early 1980s, spread quickly elsewhere.

These changes have fuelled the growth of the cultural industries, and this has added legitimacy to the idea that the economies can be regenerated through the cultural industries.

The result: the 1990s and 2000s have seen a boom time in cultural policy under the sign of the cultural and creative industries.
Cultural policy is about the direct and indirect tools that governments and the state and other public actors use to fund, stimulate and regulate the production, distribution and consumption of art.
Source:Runge & Hartmann
Issues of definitions
Governments have delimited the terrain of the cultural and creative industries in a number of ways, according to their purposes, often taking an extremely inclusive approach to argue that the sector is perhaps more economically significant than it really is.
Culture vs Economy/Industry
If to use generic economic policies for the cultural industries as a whole, as opposed to specific industries?
Number of core ideas that underpin the majority of cultural policies:
the romantic notion of the isolated artist-genius who works for the love of art;

culture is a pure public good, one that should be equally available to all;

the true value of art is transcendent and can be determined by experts, accompanied by the idea that the monetary value of art is false and the 'market' cannot decide.

an idealist-humanist notion that culture has a 'civilising effect'.
The cultural industries do not fit into cultural policies operating under these assumptions. Hence, traditionally, in cases of national cultural policy making, cultural industries have been sidelined - igniting debates about culture versus economy, art versus commerce, and high versus low culture. These days it is often argued, the tendency may be vice versa.
Small vs. Large
Small companies create diversity and jobs for all, but risk is higher - not the ideal conditions for creating regeneration, as number of studies have shown (Gilmore 2004).
The creative industries policies place considerable emphasis on exports, as well as on a certain amount of cultural protectionism.

Here the most significant tension exists with respect to (economic) free trade policies. The dilemma is that if the cultural industries are characterised as economic then they are subject to WTO regulations.

Thus the development of the ‘cultural exception’ (that cultural trade should be exempted from free trade provisions).
Many of these tensions have to do with the opposition aesthetic vs. instrumental value.
Also pluralisation of aesthetics.
Source: Runge & Hartmann
Alternative: Evolutionary Economics view of CIs policy
Question for policy makers/interventions:
how are CIs defined?
what is the rationale (access/demand or supply/provision)?
what are the inherent conflicts of the interventions?
on what "level" should the policy to work?
The success of your creative company is dependent on a complex system of public policy/ regulation which is implemented at different governance levels
Source: Runge&Hartmann
Sarting 2014 "Creative Europe"
Culture 2020
Full transcript