The politics of cultural policy
Over the past twenty years the arts and culture have become a popular vehicle through which local economic development can be pursued. Whilst this relatively new local economic development tool has generated much interest amongst academics, many have been content to simply provide descriptive accounts of its development. Where theoretical frameworks for analysis have been applied, they have failed to adequately examine and assess those local factors which have contributed to the development of these strategies. Interestingly, the evolution of arts policy as a vehicle through which to pursue economic development, has been mirrored by proliferation In coalitions as preferred vehicles through which governing decisions, at the local level are effected. Current debates surrounding the New Urban Politics have focused on the degree to which current modes of governance reflect: widened representation; increased community empowerment; and increased local autonomy. By employing regime theory as a framework for analysis, this thesis will examine how those local political factors in two cities have influenced the development of cultural strategy. Such an exercise will enable a comment to be made on the degree to which cultural strategies reflect more co - operative forms of decision making, increased access to new forms of expertise and community empowerment.