Handbook Editors Q&A: The Routledge Handbook of Global Cultural Policy

Victoria Durrer, Toby Miller and Dave O'Brien are handbook editors of The Routledge Handbook of Cultural Policy. This newly published title explores how cultural policy has become a global phenomenon. 

Routledge caught up with the editors to discuss this exciting new title...

1. What are your academic backgrounds?

Toby: I have taught for 20 years as a full professor in the US, Colombia, Australia, Wales, and England.

Victoria: I’m Lecturer in Arts Management and Cultural Policy at Queen's University Belfast. I’ve just entered academia after working as a practitioner in the field of arts management and cultural policy. It’s been a humbling and exciting experience.

Dave: I’m currently a Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, before that I was Senior Lecturer at Goldsmiths and Lecturer at City, all in cultural and creative-industries-related subjects. My PhD was in Sociology, my MA philosophy and my BA in History and Politics, all from University of Liverpool.

2.What inspired you to get involved in this handbook?

Toby: The chance to work with my co-editors

Victoria: Two reasons. My growing awareness of the number of voices and experiences that have been unheard in debates on the developments of cultural policy, and, as an early career researcher, it was an incredible opportunity to work on a large project like this and engage with so many established researchers.

Dave: To work with Victoria and Toby to give a broad overview of cultural policy scholarship, as well as developing a more international and global perspective on this field.

3. What audience did you have in mind whilst developing this title together?

Dave: A range of readers, from undergrads using it as a source on lots of different culture, arts social science and media courses, through to well-established scholars looking for ‘the state of the art’ in cultural policy.

Toby: Activists, practitioners, opponents of creative-industries policy, and scholars.

Victoria: I hope the book is of interest to emerging and established academic researchers in cultural policy studies, but also sociology, cultural studies, arts management, political science, post colonial, global and economic studies. I think it will be a wonderful source for teaching new and more international perspectives on cultural policy. I also hope it may be of interest to policymakers and practitioners, working in the cultural industries, both commercial and non-profit, and particularly those working at an international scale.

4. Is there one piece of research included in the book which surprised you or challenged your previous understanding of this topic?

Victoria: I don’t think I could choose just one… and highlighting these few is not to neglect the wonderful contributions made. I think bringing together – in one place—viewpoints on how cultural policy studies traverse other disciplines in the first section of the book, adds much to how we might understand the development of the discipline as a whole, particularly from an Anglo-Saxon and European perspective.

I think Figueira’s work on the Community of Portuguese Language Countries and the politico-linguistic Lusophone bloc provides new thinking on how collaboration on cultural policy happens across countries, outside of the formal regulatory regimes represented by organisations such as UNESCO or WTO. I’m delighted we were able to include the issues Callus and Zahra raise in relation to the cultural rights of people with disabilities. A number of pieces also explore artistic expressions and objects, which are particularly interesting-- the UN’s art collection (Dâmaso), K-pop (Kim) and fringe cultural activities like post-punk and comedy (Gibson, Moore, and Edmond)

Toby: They all did because I am so ignorant of so many countries.

Dave: It’s a tricky question! Its especially tricky as so much in the book is challenging and interesting. I’d say our chapters on Iran (Tajmazinani), India (Isar), Korea (Kim), Japan (Tamari), and South Africa (Sitas), as case studies, were especially fascinating as I’m not at all a specialist in those countries. Mattocks’ chapter on the EU is obviously especially important at the moment, and Luckman’s (creative industries), Conor and Comunian’s (cultural work) and Hanquinet’s (inequality) chapters all speak directly to current concerns in policy, practice and academia about equalities and cultural policy.

5. Do you have plans for future books? What’s next in the pipeline for you all?

Dave: I’m currently running a project on inequality and the cultural sector that will be a book with Mark Taylor (University of Sheffield) and I’ve just published a four-volume set of key works in cultural policy with Prof. Kate Oakley (University of Leeds).

Toby: I have two books in press with you guys and another almost done for Gedisa.

Victoria: I'm currently working with Raphaela Henze (Heilbronn University) on an AHRC funded research network (www.managingculture.net) that is exploring the relationship of arts and cultural management to intercultural exchange both between and within nations. For the work I'm engaged in with Cultural Policy Observatory Ireland (www.culturalpolicyireland.org), Kerry McCall (Uversity) and I have a Special Issue on Ireland coming out soon in Cultural Trends (http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/ccut20). My work in Irish cultural policy studies considers how certain forms of culture are legitimated, exercised and challenged through policy design and delivery at local government level in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Anything else you would like to add?

Dave: I really hope people read the book, we’re really proud of all the hard work our authors put into it. It is very much their achievement that we are celebrating and highlighting as the book is published!

Victoria Durrer is Lecturer in Arts Management and Cultural Policy at Queen’s University Belfast, Ireland. She is co-founder of the Cultural Policy Observatory Ireland (www.culturalpolicyireland.org), and Brokering Intercultural Exchange (www.managingculture.net) and serves on the Editorial Panel of the Irish Journal of Arts Management and Cultural Policy (www.culturalpolicy.ie). Her research and publications focus on cultural policy design and delivery, the social processes of cultural production and engagement within institutional settings, the socialisation of arts managers and cultural policy makers, and issues of inclusion within the arts and cultural sector.

Toby Miller is Distinguished Professor of the Graduate Division, University of California, Riverside; Sir Walter Murdoch Professor of Cultural Policy Studies, Murdoch University (40%); Profesor Invitado, Escuela de Comunicación Social, Universidad del Norte (25%); Professor of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University/Prifysgol Caerdydd (20%); and Director of the Institute for Media and Creative Industries, Loughborough University London (100%). 

He can be contacted at tobym69@icloud.com and his adventures scrutinized at www.tobymiller.org. Finally, don't miss his new Routledge titles; Greenwashing Culture and Greenwashing Sport.

Dave O’Brien is the Chancellor’s Fellow in Cultural and Creative Industries at the University of Edinburgh; Scotland. 

Author of Cultural Policy (Routledge 2014) and co-editor of After Urban Regeneration (2015) and Critical Concepts in Media and Cultural Studies: Cultural Policy (2017).

He is the host of the new books in critical theory podcast and he tweets @drdaveobrien. Finally you can find out more about Dave's 'inequality in the creative economy' research project here.

Additional Titles from the Editors

  • Greenwashing Culture

    1st Edition

    By Toby Miller

    Greenwashing Culture examines the complicity of culture with our environmental crisis. Through its own carbon footprint, the promotion of image-friendly environmental credentials for celebrities, and the mutually beneficial engagement with big industry polluters, Toby Miller argues that…

    Hardback – 2017-08-15

  • Greenwashing Sport

    1st Edition

    By Toby Miller

    Professional sports promote their green credentials and yet remain complicit in our global environmental crisis Sports are responsible for significant carbon footprints through stadium construction and energy use, player and spectator travel, and media coverage. The impact of sports on…

    Hardback – 2017-07-10

  • Cultural Policy

    1st Edition

    Edited by Dave O'Brien, Kate Oakley

    Specialists in cultural policy draw on many scholarly literatures and traditions, including but not limited to, media and communication studies, history, sociology, politics, arts management, geography, and cultural studies. Now, this new four-volume collection from Routledge brings together the…

    Hardback – 2017-05-25
    Critical Concepts in Media and Cultural Studies

  • The Routledge Companion to Global Popular Culture

    1st Edition

    Edited by Toby Miller

    Research on popular culture is a dynamic, fast-growing domain. In scholarly terms, it cuts across many areas, including communication studies, sociology, history, American studies, anthropology, literature, journalism, folklore, economics, and media and cultural studies. The Routledge Companion to…

    Hardback – 2014-12-16
    Routledge Media and Cultural Studies Companions

  • Cultural Policy

    Management, Value and Modernity in the Creative Industries, 1st Edition

    By Dave O'Brien

    Contemporary society is complex; governed and administered by a range of contradictory policies, practices and techniques. Nowhere are these contradictions more keenly felt than in cultural policy. This book uses insights from a range of disciplines to aid the reader in understanding contemporary…

    Hardback – 2014-07-28

  • Television Studies: The Basics

    1st Edition

    By Toby Miller

    Television Studies: The Basics is a lively introduction to the study of a powerful medium. It examines the major theories and debates surrounding production and reception over the years and considers both the role and future of television. Topics covered include: broadcasting history and…

    Paperback – 2009-11-25
    The Basics

  • The Contemporary Hollywood Reader

    1st Edition

    Edited by Toby Miller

    We are all experts about Hollywood. We have to be, given its iconic power as the global source of so much entertainment. Designed to add to existing expertise as a movie-goer, The Contemporary Hollywood Reader enables students to enter into the thematic, critical, artistic, economic, and political…

    Paperback – 2009-06-29

  • Television

    Critical Concepts in Media and Cultural Studies, 1st Edition

    Edited by Toby Miller

    Bringing together the most important writings on television in theoretical, historical, empirical and political terms, from the USA and Europe, with significant coverage of other international works, this collection demonstrates television's global significance, as a field of study, to…

    Hardback – 2002-12-19
    Critical Concepts in Media and Cultural Studies

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About The Routledge Handbook of Global Cultural Policy

The Routledge Handbook of Global Cultural Policy (Hardback) book coverThe book explores how cultural policy has become a global phenomenon. It brings together a diverse range of researchers whose work reveals how cultural policy expresses and realises common global concerns, dominant narratives, and geopolitical economic and social inequalities. The sections of the book address cultural policy’s relation to core academic disciplines and core questions, of regulations, rights, development, practice, and global issues.

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‘This Handbook not only re-thinks and re-conceptualizes the dimensions of global cultural policy studies, but also documents up-to-dated policy cases from global north to global south.’ — Anthony Fung, Professor, The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Beijing Normal University

'A must-have for any arts and culture scholar, this book provides a walkthrough of the "weird, wired world" of cultural policies around the globe, plus a foundational survey of their roots, theories and practices, from the field’s chief protagonists' —   Dr. Abigail Gilmore, Senior Lecturer, Arts Management and Cultural Policy, University of Manchester