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Abstract

This article re-imagines the space of the cultural industries and their governance. It is divided into three parts. In the first, questions of definition are reviewed. In the second part, cultural policies (and by default cultural industries policies) are examined in order to disclose the key concepts of culture that they are based upon. The final section, on governance, develops an argument that seeks to open up a space where the hybrid nature of cultural production can be addressed by policy.
Andy C. Pratt
Cultural industries and public policy
Article (Accepted version)
(Refereed)
Original citation:
Pratt, Andy C (2005) Cultural industries and public policy.
International journal of cultural policy,
11 (1). pp. 31-44.
DOI:
10.1080/10286630500067739
© 2005
Taylor and Francis
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CULTURAL INDUSTRIES AND PUBLIC POLICY: AN OXYMORON?
Andy C Pratt
*
London School of Economics, England
*
E-mail: a.c.pratt@lse.ac.uk
1
Cultural industries and public policy: an oxymoron?
Abstract: This paper re-imagines the space of the cultural industries and their
governance. The paper is divided into three parts. In the first questions of
definition are reviewed. In the second part the paper examines cultural
policies (and by default cultural industries policies) in order to disclose the key
concepts of culture that they are based upon. The final section, on
governance, develops an argument that seeks to open up a space where the
hybrid nature of cultural production can be addressed by policy.
Keywords: cultural industries, cultural industries policy, governance
2
INTRODUCTION
The cultural industries have undoubtedly attained considerable visibility and a
degree of notoriety in recent years as a policy object, however they sit
uneasily within the public policy framework. One reason for the ambivalent
position that the cultural industries occupy is that they are commercially
orientated and that they are commonly regarded as mass or low culture. Yet,
they are situated under the umbrella of cultural policy, a perspective that has
traditionally championed elite cultural forms funded from the public purse. This
tension is compounded by a fiscal crisis and the decreasing legitimacy of the
nation state as a provider of public goods. Moreover, the nature of the cultural
industries (mainly for profit) has changed markedly in recent years, and it now
exists in increasing tension with the cultural sector (mainly not for profit), the
traditional object of cultural policy.
The net result, in the view of some commentators, is a reversal of cultural
values and a submission to the market as the source of all value. The cultural
industries have thus become an irritant to cultural policy makers for a number
of reasons. First, the cultural industries embody and promote alternative
aesthetics and market values. Second, some of the contributions of the
cultural industries to society (and particularly the economy) can be measured
in economic terms. Thus, for some the co-existence of the cultural industries
with traditional cultural policy undermines the latter.
It may be argued that cultural policy has also become a problem for the
cultural industries. From the perspective of the cultural industries, cultural
policy more generally does not embody the tools or understanding of the
processes that animate them aside from an aesthetic benchmark (which they
are usually condemned for failing to meet). Moreover, the very ‘stuff’ of the
cultural industries is commonly presented as something that is on one hand
intrinsically anarchic and individualistic, a quality that defies planning or
3
management
1
, let alone being an object of public policy; on the other hand,
the cultural industries are viewed as commercial in their orientation and thus
should not be deserving of public subsidy.
Such views, although heavily stereotyped, are expressed by protagonists,
politicians and policy makers and disclose a number of assumptions and pre-
conceptions. Set in these terms it is understandable that the cultural industries
may be viewed as outwith the normal purview of public policy. Taxonomic
problems relate to the ontological status of the cultural industries, as well as to
the practicalities of information collection on new ‘social objects’. The aim of
this paper is to re-imagine the space of the cultural industries and their
governance. Before we reach this stage a considerable amount of ‘ground
clearing’ will be necessary in order to establish a robust foundation for these
arguments. It is the objective here to question some of the assumptions about
the cultural industries and policy to promote them, and in so doing open up
some spaces within which questions about the governance (corporate and
more generally) and public policy may be discussed. In so doing the paper
seeks to open up a position that neither falls into the assumption that the
cultural industries are wholly public or wholly private goods. Moreover, it
seeks to consider the ways in which the cultural industries are governed
through organisational forms, regulations and markets: some of which are
primarily in the public sector, some of which are not.
The paper is divided into three parts. In the first questions of definition are
reviewed. In the second part the paper examines cultural policies (and by
default cultural industries policies) in order to uncover the key concepts of
culture that they are based upon. The final section, on governance, develops
an argument that seeks to open up a space where the tensions between the
definition and understanding of the cultural industries, policy objectives and
means of policy deliver can be resolved.
4
DEFINITIONAL QUESTIONS
The Cultural Industries
A basic problem with the development of policy for the cultural industries
concerns the issue of definition. First, it is useful to put aside the cultural-
creative industries debate. The term ‘creative industries’ is a political construct
first deployed by the UK government in 1997 under a new Labour
administration. The term ‘cultural industries’ had been used previously by
Labour run Metropolitan councils to point to more or less the same activities.
There was no explicit discussion of why the term changed, nor a statement of
a comprehensive definition in distinction to the cultural industries (or any other
term). A best estimate is that there were two reasons for the adoption of the
term. First, a direct political one. The new Labour administration sought to
position itself as politically centrist, one that was very keen to distance itself
from what it regarded as electoral disadvantages, namely policies associated
with ‘old’ labour. Specifically, policies associated with either the old
Metropolitan councils, particularly those associated with the Greater London
Council as with the cultural industries, were especially sensitive. Policies for
the cultural industries had been pioneered by the metropolitan councils as one
part of an industrial regeneration strategy, and in the case of London, as a
political mobilisation strategy
2
. Thus, for new Labour, cultural industries
policies were tainted with left-leaning ‘old’ Labour values. The party did
position itself positively in support for the cultural industries, and Tony Blair
made a number of key speeches prior to election to this effect(Harris 2003).
Shortly after the election a new Department of National Heritage was re-
branded the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. One of its first actions
was to set up a ‘Creative Industries Task Force’ (CITF). Its first agenda item
was to propose a working definition of the creative industries. The definition
arrived at was ‘Those activities that have their origin in individual creativity,
skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through
the general exploitation of intellectual property’(DCMS 1998).
This definition relates to the other reason for the choice of the term ‘creative
industries’. As Garnham points out elsewhere in this special issue, there is a
legacy first developed by the 1979-97 Conservative administrations for the
5
promotion of the ‘information’ or ‘knowledge’ economy. The specification of
intellectual property in the definition, and the overall objective of ‘recommend
[ing] steps to maximize the impact of the UK creative industries at home and
abroad’ (DCMS 1998) underlines this. Despite the production of two ‘Mapping
Documents’ (DCMS 1998; DCMS 2001) the CITF managed to produce little in
the way of policy. However, the significance of the Mapping Documents
cannot be overestimated: they opened a door to the Treasury funding and
gained an economic respect for the sector that it had never had before as
simply ‘the arts lobby’
3
. A more subtle, but wider ranging, dimension of
‘creativity’ in Labour policy has been the call by a committee reviewing
educational curricula across all school ages to promote creativity in order to
prepare people to work in the knowledge economy (NACCCE 1999).
Underpinning the knowledge society position is the idea is that with
manufacturing in decline the UK has to use ‘knowledge’ to sustain its
competitive advantage. Alongside the usual hi-technology, bio-technology,
and pharmaceutical industries, the new star is believed to be ‘the creative
industries’.
In effect the UK initiative has sought to ringfence a number of commercial
applications of culture and to exploit their intellectual property. It is for this
reason that the creative industries focus is primarily on outputs and ‘property
rights’. Any discussion of production and manufacture is problematic for two
reasons. First, this initiative is supposed to move beyond manufacture.
Second, that manufacture, and arts and culture are figured as oppositional;
this has been reflected in policy. Consequently, when the creative industries
are articulated with the broader cultural field the dualisms of economic/private
of the non-economic/public arts are re-established.
The formation of the creative industries adopted by the UK government is
powerfully linked into a political programme
4
. However, the term is of little
analytical value per se; it would be difficult to identify a non-creative industry
or activity (Pratt 2004). Whilst the same point can be levelled at the cultural
industries (which industry or activity cannot be described as having a cultural
dimension) at least the cultural industries have a putative activity (such as film
6
making, or writing a book) to produce a ‘cultural’ object; the creative
industries’ object is creativity itself. It is for this reason that I prefer to use the
term cultural industries.
Despite these linguistic acrobatics, the question of defining the field has not
been addressed
5
. Commonly, the question asked is ‘what is culture’ or what is
a ‘cultural object’; then, experts decide what is, and is not, culture. There is
widespread agreement of some aspects of this, for example, fine art, classical
music, perhaps pop music, film, however, in inclusion of computer games,
sport, or even tourism quickly divides opinion
6
. This is what I have termed
elsewhere as the ‘breadth’ question(Pratt 2001). Necessarily, there is no
universal definition as cultural formations are situated in spaces and times;
the answer must be locally, culturally and politically defined. However, this is
not the end of the investigation. A critical further dimension must be
considered, the ‘depth’ issue. What the depth question relates to is which
activities are necessary for a cultural output? If we take a theatre performance
we need a text, actors, directors (all of whom need training and development),
we need technicians, back and front of house staff, and a building to perform
and rehearse in. There are positive interactions between all of these
participants, and all rely on the others for the final outcome. Thus, logically,
one needs to include these activities in the ‘ensemble’ of cultural production.
This is essentially the notion behind what I have variously called the cultural
production chain, circuit or web. This is more formally expressed in Box 1.
Such a definition opens up a tension as suggested above as it included issues
of manufacture and non-cultural occupations. The DCMS definition of the
cultural sector has recently been re-defined and based upon this logic, the
‘creative industries’ remain an uneasy ‘sub-grouping’(DCMS 2003).
INSERT BOX 1 HERE
The critical innovation of such a definitional and conceptual shift is significant.
Whereas previously only ‘cultural outputs’ were considered (and prior to this
indirect impacts (Pratt 2001); the new approach is concerned more with
process and context. This brings into view a range of institutional structures
7
that sustain and enable continued cultural production: in effect, this
constitutes a new visibility. Here, although the evidence is sparse, we can
note the strikingly diverse institutional forms of, for example, the film industry,
television, computer games, fine art, classical music, popular music,
commercial theatre, public theatre, etc. The implication is two fold. First, a
‘one size fits all’ cultural industries strategy may be ineffective, and, second,
that the cultural industries may differ from other industries, social or cultural
activities. So, generic policies may not be ideal either. Moreover, it creates a
more specific policy agenda, one that implies that a thorough understanding
of cultural production is central(Pratt 2004). As I note below, these tensions
are further amplified by the elision of policy objectives concerning instrumental
and substantive policies for the cultural industries.
Cultural Industries Policies
It would be logical to develop cultural industries policies from the basis of a
firm understanding of their object. However, as we have noted above, such an
understanding of the object has been slow to emerge. First, this is due to
conceptual confusion; second, the practical problems of collecting information;
and third, political pragmatism. Thus far the dominant information collected
has been of the employment and output variety; little systematic coverage
exists of the more qualitative dimensions of organisation and institutional
contexts or the production of cultural commodities. Moreover, precious little
attention has been paid to the way that cultural production spans both public
and private funding sources. As we will point out below, this hybrid nature of
cultural production sits uneasily with the mono-culture and dualistic character
of financing arrangements with respect to this domain.
The aim of this section is to not to review cultural industries policies per se, as
they are very few and far between. Characteristically, they are subsumed
under cultural policies more generally, or, they sit under the ideological
umbrella of the cultural sector and thus share (often in an unacknowledged,
nor directly addressed manner) the assumptions that commonly underpin the
(usually publicly funded) arts and cultural sector. The objective is to explore
8
the existing frameworks for conceptualising and analysing cultural policy in
general, and to explore the ‘fit’ with the cultural industries. As we will note, a
central question concerning the conceptualisation of the cultural industries vis
a vis cultural policy, and the empirical rate of change that the cultural
industries are undergoing at any point in time which generates and increasing
tension between the two domains. Beyond this there are a number of
foundational questions concerning whether a fundamentally social, or
economic, stance is taken; finally, what the relation cultural industries have to,
and what conception is implied of, the state.
Dilemmas
A document produced for the Council of Europe (Matarasso &Landry 1999)
aimed at policy makers represents the task of cultural policy making as similar
to tightrope walking, requiring continual adjustment to preserve the ‘elusive
point of balance’
7
. Matarasso and Landry organise their discussion of the
twenty-one dilemmas around five themes: frameworks, implementation, social
development, economic development and management. Each group of issues
is presented with an 11-point scale and a checklist. The objective is for policy-
makers to resolve each point in turn. Without doubt this list is comprehensive
and it provides a useful overview of the practical issues associated with
cultural policy making (see Box 2).
This document is useful, but it does not provide the analytical tools to move
toward a resolution of the tensions. First, the issue of a number of concepts of
culture are glossed over; Matarasso and Landry do not address the
differences between the cultural industries and the wider sector. As already
noted in this paper there are good reasons for having a differentiation.
Second, they assume a nation state that is (spatially and temporally)
unchanging in its forms, underpinnings and legitimation.
INSERT BOX 2 HERE
9
CULTURAL DISCOURSES
The notion of culture constructed through a number of intersecting discourses
that provide particular means of mobilising the notion and defining its object.
These discourses are selectively emphasised to frame cultural (industries)
policies. In this section I sketch out three discourses that are deployed in
policy making.
Economic
The most widely discussed means of establishing a framework for analysis of
the cultural sector, and one justification mobilised to support the case for
public intervention, is by using an economic lens; specifically one configured
by the atomistic assumptions of neo-classical economics
8
. Here the critical
issue is whether the object of cultural policy is a public or private good. Such a
distinction itself obscures historical preferences and a priori decisions to treat
culture as if it were a public or private good (Throsby 2001).
If we put these concerns aside we can review the four, non-mutually
exclusive, versions of the economic discourse of culture. First, by considering
the trade of cultural commodities as if they were any other, and evaluating
their direct or indirect impacts on the economy. Policy makers may seek to
promote or channel investments if they are perceived to produce benefits (for
either the cultural sector, or those that it benefits) in excess of the
administrative costs. An extension of this logic will sustain a support for the
cultural activities if they produce social or political benefits; commonly
deployed examples range from social inclusion and regeneration, export
earnings or national and personal identity.
Second, there are rational choice, or preference, approaches. These focus on
voter behaviour and argue that government policy is justified if there is
popular support for it. A variant of this is where the government seeks to
sustain a higher purpose, moral values, through the limitation of public
choices (via censorship for example), despite their preferences.
10
The third area is that of public goods; that is a good that if consumed by one
can be consumed by all others for no extra cost. Notionally, a free to air radio
broadcast is of such character. It can be argued that no individual is likely to
provide such a service, and thus it is logical to provide it collectively. A variant
of this model is that of ‘merit goods’; that is public goods that the government
sees some benefit in promoting but for which there is no current demand from
the public.
A fourth area in a sense extends the third and in part accounts for, and seeks
to respond to, why the public do not see value in ‘meritorious goods’. The first
example of this might be education; the development of specific tastes will
create ‘markets’ for particular goods. A second example is those activities that
suffer from a ‘cost disease’; namely that they have a fixed labour requirement
which will cause price inflation as wages rise, and therefore become more
expensive. Live classical music and theatre are often placed in such a
category. So, in both cases a subsidy for goods, and their production might be
justified. The whole issue again revolves around a question of what is of
‘value’, and obscures how such decision-making takes place.
It is on the basis of these four broad criteria that state intervention has been
justified within economic discourse. Whilst they point to a role of the state they
do not necessarily disclose the nature of that policy implementation, or,
precisely its object.
Ideological/Political
The second discursive position taken to frame culture in an ideological field;
this is perhaps the oldest established position. Very broadly, it has three
faces: humanist, aesthetic and nationalist. The first, humanist, broadly
articulates the position that (the correct) culture is uplifting and civilising,
adding the notion of humanity and elevating the human spirit. In short, to
understand and articulate culture it is an essential part of becoming and
perfecting ourselves as human beings. The second, the aesthetic, concerns
the aspiration to perfectibility, that the creation and appreciation of ‘great art’
will draw the subject closer to transcendent values. Those advocating this
11
viewpoint commonly express notions such as the equivalence and the
absolute nature of categories like ‘truth and beauty’.
Finally, the articulation of cultural particularism to the notion of cultural
achievement. This is commonly expressed through an articulation of particular
artefacts to the nation state and national identity. Discussions of nation state
building by writers such as Anderson (1991) and Hobsbawm and Ranger
(1992) highlight the role of cultural activities such as the invention of traditions
and the construction of imagined communities in this process
9
. Thus the
development of equivalences between art and the nation state lead to notions
of identity being bound up with particular art forms
10
. One consequence of this
process is the appropriation of particular pieces of art with a nation state
identity. The recent case of the use of UK National Lottery funds to ‘save’
Raphael’s Madonna and the pinks ‘for the nation’ is illustrative
11
.
Critically, all three positions rely upon an acceptance of particular hierarchical
authority and expertise systems to legislate on priorities and ‘what is best’.
This places them in opposition to the market in that whilst it expresses one
form of popular support it does not impinge upon ‘absolute values’ (see also
the note on ‘merit goods’ above).
Social
The question of where culture is ‘located’ is clearly a vexing one. The
ideological and political dimensions are suggested above, and we can see
extensions in the work of outreach arms of the state, for example the British
Council or even CIA in the case of the US (see Stonor Saunders 1999). An
alternate inflection of the ideological role of the state is to view cultural policy
as an arm of welfare policy. This may at first sight seem a strange
juxtaposition; however, if we view it as a mode of managing and positioning
policy it fits quite well. Take the core principles of excellence and principle of
free ‘service’ at the point access that fit both health and common concepts of
cultural ‘rights’. Such a formulation has considerable analytic benefit through
making the role of the state integral, rather than as an ‘addition’.
12
Generally, this formulation has been all but ignored in the literature. The social
welfare formulation takes as its starting point an institutional or evolutionary
conception of economics as opposed to neo-classical economics; immediately
shifting the debate from its economic manifestation. A very provoking analysis
is outlined by (Toepler &Zimmer 2002) who take Esping-Andersen’s (1990)
seminal analysis of European welfare systems as a template for cultural
policy.
In this paper they, following Andersen, seek out the social and political
institutional formations and trajectories. Here they capitalize on one of Esping-
Andersen’s strengths, showing the diversity of state forms that deliver quite
different outcomes for the nominally same input. Their paper is illuminating in
that it breaks with the universalism, with regard to the state, of much cultural
policy discourse, especially that of the neo-classicists. They highlight the
different families of policy-making based upon a palette of assumptions and
social forms found in (groups of) different nation-states.
Another innovative dimension pointed up is the admission to the conceptual
possibility of commodification and de-commodification. Traditionally,
perspectives polarise the two (as in state or market). It is suggestive of a
continuum, or hybrid, of public and private support of policy (the mix of public
and private found elsewhere in the welfare system of most counties: for
example, health and education). There is not space here to discuss this at
length. However, it is worth noting that this approach is the only one that takes
the contextual formation of policy making and implementation seriously.
Whilst this approach has much to recommend in terms of the institutional
texture of cultural policy, it does not delve into the issue of definitions of
culture: one could re-draw the ‘families of policy’
12
based upon different
concepts. As such, they in effect, work with, rather than question, the
assumption that culture is a public good, and as such it is an accepted object
of state policy. Thus far policy makers do not seem to have drawn upon these
insights. Whilst this approach does focus institutional forms, less attention is
paid to organisation forms and styles. Clearly relevant here are the
13
interesting, but conceptually dislocated, debates about decentralisation of
policy making (Kawashima 1997; Everitt 1999). Second, it pays not attention
to the particular institutional forms of the private sector, and specifically of the
cultural industries. Third, there seems limited space for quasi-public and
partnership forms. There is considerable evidence of ‘arms length’ and
‘regulatory control’ becoming core tools of government with a ‘light touch’.
Essentially, this is an issue of engaging with change: the changing form of
state governance, and of corporate governance: and, the relations between
the two and the position of civil society. These issues are picked up in the final
section of the paper.
GOVERNANCE
Whilst it may help to create a neat analytical distinction between different
discourses of culture that are mobilised in policy making, as we noted above,
practitioners tend to draw upon a mixture of rationales. The positions set out
above do help to account for the different lenses through which culture can be
viewed. These formulations seek to position us on one or other of the market-
state-ideological boxes. This section seeks to address this very problem by
shifting the focus to the ways in which objects can be governed.
So far I have discussed some concepts of culture and the policy objectives
that underpin them. I have already shown that the concepts and practice of
cultural activity are subject to change, a process that has been exacerbated
through the industrial and mass production of cultural artefacts. I think that it
would be fair to say that we have currently reached a point of crisis in many
nation states and regions regarding cultural policies. Commonly accepted
definitions of culture have both widened and deepened. Consequentially, the
impact of cultural activities is felt more widely throughout society.
Whereas, in the past, it seemed possible to base policy on aesthetic
judgements; now, we have for many years had the challenge of political
judgements, and more recently those of economic judgements
13
.
Consequentially, the current challenge would seem to be one of creating a
frame of reference within which all of these elements can be considered.
14
A traditional perspective on this issue would begin with the alternatives of
state intervention and free markets. However, the concept that I want to
develop is more nuanced than this, it attempts to capture the quality of the
intervention. In this way we can develop ideas about how culture is defined,
and what can be regulated and controlled, and on which terms. It is for this
reason that I prefer the term 'governance' rather than 'policy' as it
encompasses policy, the definition of artefacts and their production, as well as
the legitimisation and implementation of policy.
There are many different interpretations of the notion of governance; the one
this paper draws upon is that discussed by Jessop (1998; 2000). Jessop
(1998) makes the distinction between the institutions and agencies charged
with governing (government), and the modes and manner of governing
(governance). The latter he defines as the co-ordination of different
institutional orders (such as economic, political, legal, scientific, or educational
systems) each of which has its own complex operational logic such that it is
impossible to exercise effective control of its development from outside that
system. This notion has very strong resonances with the type of problems that
we have noted above with respect to the cultural sector in general, and the
cultural industries in particular (see for example Grabher 2001).
Beyond this Jessop argues that the modes of co-ordination are various, as
well as temporally and spatially embedded. He writes that markets, states and
government all fail; but that the alternative of substituting one institution with
another, which he says is a common response, is not the only one possible.
Jessop claims that he is not suggesting a ‘third way’; rather seeking ‘new
balance points’ (see also Hirst 1994). Historically, he points to the example of
the shift of economic governance from Fordism to Post-Fordism that has
required new forms of co-ordination. Less deterministically, he also argues
that the relative changes of states, markets and societies cannot be simply
managed with one overall structure. Jessop’s point is that traditional
institutional responses (by states, markets and governments) have tended to
15
fall into two modes: the anarchy of the market, or organisational hierarchies
(the state); beyond these he offers self-organisation (heterarchy).
The Possible Spaces Of Cultural Governance
To think only of markets or states as the only possible spaces of solution to
complex problems is, in Jessop’s view, to be trapped within traditional
dualisms and patterns of failure of governance. The current tensions both
within cultural industries policies, and between cultural policy and cultural
industries policy, and between other domains are illustrative of this impasse in
the cultural field (see Craik, McAllister et al. 2003 for example). If we now
articulate the three discourses of culture with Jessop’s three forms of
governance we can sketch out a fully articulated field of cultural industries
policy making which focuses debate on appropriate tensions and their means
of resolution. Debates about ownership and control are central to questions of
cultural industries practice; in Jessop’s schema ownership is elided with
control, arguably in a manner that is too assumptive of a particular rationality.
Setting this aside Figure 1 is a representation of the field. In the spirit of a
provocative thought experiment one can range over the field. This is
illustrated next where I map on some more familiar positions of cultural policy.
The objective here is not to be exhaustive, rather to illustrate the other
possibilities that have not been explored.
INSERT FIGURE 1 HERE
Starting from top left, cells 1 and 2, we can perhaps find the space for a form
of governance that equates with Nationalisation or national ownership. It has
been a common form of economic governance, but one now rejected by most
governments. It is based upon state (or common) ownership of property.
16
Moving right, cells 2 and 3, is the indicative space of the various policies of
national Protectionism. These are in part economic, but rooted in strategic
protection of the nation state. Again, this form of regulation has been
historically used in the economic sphere, but also I think that it is the one that
could characterise much fine art policy. For example the building of strategic
collections of national art, saving 'national art treasures' for export, or simply
strategic collections for national museums to maintain their international
audience.
Bottom left, cells 7 and 8, best characterise Privatisation. Note, this is not 'no
policy' option as it is commonly presented; it is the particular application of a
form of market regulation and market values. We are familiar with variants of
this form of activity in the last 20 years in many spheres of activity. As should
be clear, it does not equate with 'no government'. In most nation states this is
the mode of governance that characterises popular music, much film, and
increasingly television, as well as computer games, and multimedia.
Finally, cells 8 and 9, is a sphere that has remained relatively neglected until
recently, however, it is in many respects the most interesting. In some areas
of economic activity it is being used. What it comprises of essentially is a rich
social organisation of forms of exchange: what can be termed Sectoral
Governance. It is premised upon a strong social and political mobilisation, and
hence, it is not surprising to find that it is most common at a local level. For
brevity we can point to the forms of social governance that are found in
Denmark and in the Northern Italian industrial districts, as well as some of
those in Southern Germany (see Cooke &Morgan 1998).
Clearly, there are many other possibilities, only a few of which have been
explored by policy makers. On Jessop’s prompting it is useful to consider the
row of cells 4-6 as they represent an untried possibility. Interestingly, many
commentators have suggested that this form of governance characterises the
cultural industries (see Grabher 2001; Pratt 2004) and prompts the question
of the importance of striving for an organisational isomorphism between
‘policies’ and ‘practices’.
17
Imagining New Spaces Of Governance Of The Cultural Industries
Rather than providing a summary of the argument already laid out, in this
concluding section I want to offer an initial exploration of one set of new
spaces of the governance of the cultural industries. Heterarchical governance
offers a potential key with which to unlock the totality of interaction, finding
strengths and weaknesses in the organisation of production and its
governance (see Pratt 1997; Jeffcutt &Pratt 2002; Pratt 2004). Here, I want to
suggest that it is useful to extend the notion of governance beyond that which
the state and the market seek to control. This seems implicit in Jessop’s
concept of governance but the specific tensions between corporate and
entrepreneurial forms, or social and economic forms (profit and not-for-profit)
are not highlighted. This issue is a challenge that is presented by the cultural
industries.
If cultural policy is not to become obsolete, or irrelevant, it has to be drawn
into a new conception of governance that acknowledges the existence of the
market, but is actively involved in the shaping of that market. Moreover, it
should also involve the discussion of what the market is failing to do, and what
can be done by other means. The key point, represented by cell 6, in Figure
1, is the need for a more open and democratic form of decision making over
investment priorities. This will logically figure a radical shift away from a
simple focus on subsidy, to a more broadly based support for culture, as well
as a more fiercely debated one. This obviously throws up a huge new agenda
for debate. Imagining such a new agenda will entail some significant
challenges to the form of policy making.
First, institutions shaped and developed for traditional arts policies may not be
appropriate for the cultural industries or new policy more generally; it may well
involve working across traditional departments of government, as well as
between levels of government, as well as across the boundaries of
government, civil society and commerce.
Second, and related, the nature of expertise required by policy makers is
likely to be quite different. Instead of simply acting as arbiters of taste and
18
value, policy makers are more likely to be involved in strategic and longer
term questions about the development of cultural forms, and cultural
participation, as well as the developing relationships between 'pure' cultural
forms and 'applied' forms. All of those involved in the governance process will
need to develop a deeper understanding of the nature of organisation of the
production and reproduction of cultural activities. This will involve gaining an
insight into the role of institutions and networks in training, and innovation, as
well as in the execution and display of cultural artefacts. Given the huge
problems involved in making a most rudimentary quantitative survey of the
creative industries, this task is likely to be particularly challenging. However,
effective debates about governance are unlikely to develop unless a rich and
deep understanding of the processes to be governed is elaborated.
Finally, a whole new infrastructure of public participation will need to be
created if legitimacy for this activity is to be sustained. It is unlikely that such
activity could be sustained at a national level unless it was firmly rooted at the
local level, and inserted in all fields of cultural activity.
19
Box 1: The cultural production system (Depth definition)
i. Content origination. The generation of new ideas – usually authors,
designers or composers – and the value derived from intellectual property
rights;
ii. Exchange. The relationship to the audience or market place. This takes
place through physical and virtual retail, via wholesalers and distributors, as
well as in theatres, museums, libraries, galleries, historic buildings, sports
facilities and other venues and locations;
iii. Reproduction. Most cultural industry products need to be mass-produced;
examples include printing, music, broadcasting, production of designed
materials and product;
iv. Manufacturing inputs. Ideas must be turned into products and prototypes
using tools and materials; this might cover the production and supply of things
as diverse as for example musical instruments, film or audio equipment or
paint.
v. Education and critique (to cover both training and the discourse in critical
ideas), and vi. Archiving (to include libraries and the ‘memory’ of cultural
forms).
b. ‘Breath’
Visual Art, Performance, Audio-Visual, Books and Press, and perhaps Sport
and Health, and Heritage and Tourism
Source: (DCMS 2003; Pratt 2004)
20
Box 2: 21 Strategic dilemmas in cultural policy
1. Culture as the arts or culture as a way of life
2. Cultural democracy or democratisation of culture
3. Culture as self-justifying value or culture as development
4. Art as a public good or art as a conditional activity
5. Consultation or active participation
6. Direct control of insulation from the political process
7. Public or private
8. Prestige or community
9. National or international
10. Communities or community
11. Cultural diversity or monoculture
12. Heritage or contemporary
13. Visitors or residents
14. External image or internal reality
15. Subsidy or investment
16. Consumption or production
17. Centralisation or decentralisation
18. Direct provision or contracting-out
19. The arts or the artist
20. Infrastructure or activity
21. Artists or managers
Source: (Matarasso &Landry 1999)
21
1
2
3
Hierarchy
4
5
6
Heterarchy
7
8
9
Market
Governance
Economic
Ideological/
Political
Social
Cultural
discourse
Figure 1: The field of cultural policy making
22
Captions
Figure 1: The field of cultural policy making
Box 1: The cultural production system (Depth definition)
Box 2: 21 Strategic dilemmas in cultural policy
23
Works cited
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24
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25
Endnotes
1
This is the source of the viewpoint that public policy and the cultural industries are an
oxymoron; it also echoes a comment by Adorno (1991) regarding the tension between culture
and bureaucracy.
2
An industrial regeneration strategy was informed by the Alternative Economic Strategy
which positioned Metropolitan councils as policy laboratories which sought to exemplify
opposition and a future beyond the, then, ruling Conservative national administration.
3
In an era of output indicator driven managerialism the deployment of indicators such as
employment, output and export earnings were very potent.
4
Accordingly, there are problems in exporting this concept to other political and institutional
contexts.
5
The CITF did define the creative industries: listing 13 industries in all.
6
The debates about popular culture and its value articulated within the discipline of cultural
studies sought to destabilise the old hierarchies. However, it is notable that this has always
been a sensitive issue within Government. There is a commonly expressed unease within
politicians and policy makers about the Department of Culture, Media and Sport being viewed
as the ‘Department of Fun’.
7
The paper subsumes the cultural industries within cultural policy.
8
This is the justification for culture to reside outside of economic calculation.
9
Neil MacGregor, the director of the British Museum, notes that it was the first institution in
Britain to bear the name ‘British’; it was established by the Crown to be a showcase for the
history of the world. The funding arrangements were through a blind trust; thus establishing
the ‘arms length principle’ that characterises many national art policies. A potent example in
the UK case of the linkage between art, culture and identity can be found in Leonard (1997).
10
Recent World Trade Organisation debates have led to France, for example, seeking to
deploy the ‘cultural expectionalist’ clause to defend its subsidy of the French film industry.
This exceptionalist case need not apply to new art forms; in fact it is often deployed to defend
‘old’ cultures, or ‘folk’ cultural products.
11
There is not space here to discuss the multiple issues of, for example, Raphael’s non-
British identity and the construction of a ‘national’ art gallery.
12
Esping-Andersen allocates similar state and policy forms to ‘families of states’: hence, his three
worlds (families) of welfare capitalism.
13
Both of these are informed and exacerbated by the flows of migration (short term and long
term) of peoples with different cultural heritages. This incipient cosmopolitanism creates a
tension between mono-cultural policy and democracy. This is the mainspring of many debates
about culture in a globalising world, and the tensions between homogeneity and
heterogeneity.
26
... Por otro lado, estamos al tanto de la discusión y las distintas posiciones respecto de qué es lo que compete al ámbito cultu-ral y al desarrollo simbólico, o bien, qué es un objeto o producto cultural (Williams, 1987;Bustamante, 2002;Hesmondhalgh, 2007;Miller y Yúdice, 2004;Pratt, 2005). Sin embargo, este artículo no abordará ese debate, por lo que mi punto de partida y a su vez su focalización, son las acciones concretas de las secretarías de Cultura y los documentos de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura (unesco) 3 que se refieren, de alguna u otra manera, a las políticas públicas culturales. ...
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