Show/hide main menu


7AAICC10 Cultural Policy

Module convenor: Dr Mafalda Damaso
Credits: 20
Teaching pattern: Ten one-hour lectures and ten one-hour seminars
Module description:

The objective of this module is three-fold: discussing different views of culture-state relations; examining basic characteristics of contemporary cultural policy; and understanding objectives and mechanisms of policies for arts and cultural

Throughout the module, we will ask why and how the state intervenes in cultural production, distribution and consumption and what key challenges it faces. While the module takes the British experiences as a starting point, it also attempts to take international and comparative perspectives. Throughout the module, historical and critical approaches are promoted.

The lectures and seminars are divided into 4 key themes: (1) cultural policy overview; (2) cultural funding; (3) policies for cultural industries; and (4) cultural policy from international perspectives. While the module takes a generalist approach to studying cultural policy, the tutor hopes students develop a deeper knowledge of at least one of the above themes. Writing an essay and playing proactive roles in seminars on your chosen theme would be a good way to achieve this. Seminar will consist of discussion and team research (a seminar plan will be given at the first seminar).

Students are expected to bring their experiences of cultural life and cultural policy from their country and review them from a comparative perspective. Peer learning is strongly encouraged throughout the module. Forming a study group on a particular issue of cultural policy is encouraged and the tutor would be would be happy to give support to any such effort. 

Lecture outline

Week 1: Introduction to cultural policy
Week 2: Theorising cultural policy: five perspectives   
Week 3: The Arts Council  
Week 4: Cultural policy and the public
Week 5: Marketisation of culture  
Week 6: The rise of creative industries policy  
Week 7: Public service broadcasting  
Week 8: Cultural industries and copyright
Week 9: From cultural trade to cultural flows
Week 10: From cultural diplomacy to nation branding

Module aims

By the end of the module, the students will be able to demonstrate intellectual, analytical and transferable skills appropriate for a Level 7 (MA-level) module. They will be able to understand the nature and key issues of cultural policy and will be able to discuss the following topics: 

  • Why and how the state intervenes in the matter of culture and the arts 
  • Why have different countries developed different styles of cultural policy
  • The key trends of contemporary cultural policy and what are their driving forces 
  • Different ways of cultural funding and their rationales
  • Impact of neo-liberalism on the culture  
  • The impacts of the rise of digital media on public cultural provision
  • Meanings of ‘creative industries’ and the development of relevant policies
  • Challenges to copyright policy
  • Effectiveness and problems of using culture for nation branding

Core reading

  • Bell, D. and Oakley, K. (2015) Cultural Policy. London: Routledge
  • Lee, H.-K. and Lim, L. (2014) Cultural Policies in East Asia: Dynamics between the State, Arts and Creative Industries. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Lewis, J. & Miller, T. (Eds.) (2004). Critical Cultural Policy Studies: A      Reader. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • McGuigan, J. (2004). Rethinking Cultural Policy. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
  • Miller,T. & Yúdice, G. (2002). Cultural Policy. London: Sage. 
  • International Journal of Cultural Policy
  • Cultural Policy Profile Reports (Compendium series)


1 x 4,000 word essay (100%)

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.

 The modules run in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand so there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary depending between years.

Sitemap Site help Terms and conditions  Privacy policy  Accessibility  Modern slavery statement  Contact us

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454