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Title: 'The rules of the game' : a comparative study of local cultural policy decision making for the European Capital of Culture in Liverpool and Newcastle-Gateshead, 2000-2006
Author: O'Brien, David Thomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 2702 0159
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2009
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It is commonplace for cities across the world to use aspects of culture as part of their strategies for development and as a response to economic restructuring in light of the increasing interconnectedness of the global economy. This use of cultural policy takes place against the backdrop of the move to an economy based on consumption of commodities, rather than their production. The policies take several forms, including the use of megaevents (Roche 2000), the construction of iconic buildings, and the rebranding of places based on aspects of their culture. The use of cultural policy at local level is therefore a crucially important aspect of the political economy of the modem city. Several authors (Mooney 2004, Garcia 2004, Wilks-Heeg and Jones 2004, Miles 2005, Paddison 1993, Evans and Shaw 2004, Evans 2005, McGuigan 2004) are concerned with looking at the impacts of cultural policy, or government policy that employs a rhetorical element of culture. However the process of decision making around cultural policy seems to be an uncritically accepted consensus in academic literature. Moreover academic research on cultural policy tends to centre on what forms cultural policy takes (McGuigan 2004, Hewison 1995, Quinn 1998) or on the impacts of cultural policy (Garcia 2004, Evans 2001, Bianchini and Parkinson 1993, Landry 2004). Current research, therefore, often lacks an exploration of how the policy process operates in different places, and at different levels of government. Academic literature often adopts a 'one size fits all' approach that sees cultural policy as continuous across many different places and levels of government (McGuigan 2004, Garcia 2004). This form of academic research into cultural policy also lacks a sustained engagement with what analysts of policy would understand as the policy process (Rhodes 2003).Where this type of policy analysis does exist (e.g. Quilley 1999,2000, Cochrane et a11996) it is specific to geographical areas, and thus raises questions concerning the comparisons of cultural policy in different sites. In order to supplement existing research into cultural policy with an analysis of local decision making the thesis undertakes a comparison between Liverpool and NewcastleGateshead during the years 2001-2005, when the two areas were involved in bids for European Capital of Culture status. The comparison between the two cities shows how local history, politics and culture all shape the governance of cultural policy, creating very different governing arrangements in the two areas. Using insights from political science and urban studies the thesis shows the extent to which cultural policy is enabled or constrained by local circumstances, offering insights that will be of interest to academics, policy-makers and the art and cultural sector.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available