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International Journal of Cultural Policy: Volume 11, number one

Volume 11, number one
Andy Pratt, David Hesmondhalgh (eds)
Taylor and Francis (March 2005)

Policies for the cultural industries have not only become a big issue in the UK, countries such as Canada, South Africa, Finland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea and China are actively pursuing them. However, at present the evidential and conceptual basis for these policies is weak. This special issue seeks to address this problem.

The outline from the editorial is indicative of the scope of the issue. The first section asks how the cultural industries became such an important idea in cultural policy, when the industries had been largely invisible in traditional (arts and heritage based) policy for many decades. What changed and what drove the major changes?

The second section looks at a number of problems and conceptual tensions arising from the new importance of the cultural industries in contemporary public. This includes problems concerning definition and scope, and the accurate mapping of the sector, but also tensions surrounding the insertion of commercial and industrial culture into cultural policy regimes characterised by legacies of romanticism and idealism. Problems surrounding the academic division of labour in this area of study are also addressed. The issue concludes by summarising some of the main contemporary challenges facing cultural policy and cultural policy studies with regard to the cultural industries.

Andy Pratt is based at the Department of Geography and Environment at LSE. David Hesmondhalgh is based at the Department of Sociology, Open University.