Cultural Policy: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Cultural Policy

1st Edition

By David Bell, Kate Oakley


176 pages

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pub: 2014-08-18
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David Bell and Kate Oakley survey the major debates emerging in cultural policy research, adopting an approach based on spatial scale to explore cultural policy in cities, nations and internationally. They contextualise these discussions with an exploration of what both ‘culture’ and ‘policy’ mean when they are joined together as cultural policy.

Drawing on topical examples and contemporary research, as well as their own experience in both academia and in consultancy, Bell and Oakley urge readers to think critically about the project of cultural policy as it is currently being played out around the world.

Cultural Policy is a comprehensive and readable book that provides a lively, up-to-date overview of key debates in cultural policy, making it ideal for students of media and cultural studies, creative and cultural industries, and arts management.


"For academic students, Cultural Policy should become the standard introduction to the subject. Deeply informed and closely engaged with the complexities of the subject, but at the same time written with a lightness of touch and often dry humour, it makes for the ideal companion guide to the field. But the book’s achievements go beyond this, and it deserves a wider readership – cultural administrators, city government officials, arts funders, policy consultants and even practitioners will all benefit from what is an extremely valuable book."

- Tom Campbell, Independent consultant, UK, in Cultural Trends

"This is a book whose time has come. My two favorite writers on cultural policy in a combo! At once adroit, skeptical, smart, original, and generous, David Bell and Kate Oakley have produced the best imaginable introduction to the field."

- Toby Miller, Sir Walter Murdoch Professor of Cultural Policy Studies at Murdoch University, Australia and Professor of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University, UK

"Bell and Oakley capture the shape-shifting and trickster narratives at the heart of multiscalar cultural policy research today - its decentering, deconstruction, and politicization are impressively reviewed against the backdrop of the creative economy hucksterism.

The authors document an impressive synthesis of recent thinking in cultural geography, policy, and cultural studies, zooming from micro to macro, production and consumption, form and function, instrumental to intrinsic value, useful for unsettling the mental maps or ritual logic of student and policy expert alike, in a seductively easy read."

- Catherine Murray, Professor in the School of Communication, Co- Director of the Centre for Policy Studies on Culture and Communities, Simon Fraser University, Canada

Table of Contents

1. Introducing Cultural Policy 2. The Culture of Cultural Policy 3. The Policy of Cultural Policy 4. Urban Cultural Policy 5. National Cultural Policy 6. International Cultural Policy

About the Authors

David Bell is Senior Lecturer in Critical Human Geography at the University of Leeds.

Kate Oakley is Professor of Cultural Policy at the University of Leeds.

About the Series

Key Ideas in Media & Cultural Studies

The Key Ideas in Media and Cultural Studies series covers the main concepts, issues, debates and controversies in contemporary media and cultural studies. Titles in the series constitute authoritative, original essays rather than literary surveys, but are also written explicitly to support undergraduate teaching. The series provides students and teachers with lively and original treatments of key topics in the field.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies