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This seminar explores the use of finance for cultural policy by looking at a policy experiment from South Korea: the cultural ministry's active use of venture capital for public cultural investment during the past 20 years. This policy experiment has significantly affected the country's cultural industries by increasing capital provision, reducing risk borne by private investors and transforming the very structure of cultural investment. By challenging the dichotomist understanding of state-market relations, this presentation will show that Korea's development of cultural venture capital financing is a 'state-led regulated financialisation' project.

In this project, the cultural ministry has played strategic roles in creating, growing and 'taming' the cultural venture capital market. Venture capital companies' profit maximisation is seriously limited by not only government regulations but also the strategic behaviour of private investors (cultural distributors). The presentation will discuss mutual dependence, tensions and negotiations among three participants in this market – the government, private investors and venture capital companies - how the government keeps financialising forces under control. Finally, it points out that bringing in finance further complicates cultural industry policy, which already entails tension between culture and industry.


Dr Hye-Kyung Lee is Reader in Cultural Policy, Culture, Media and Creative Industries, King’s College London, UK. She researches focuses on cultural policy, and her publications include Cultural Policies in East Asia (Palgrave Macmillan 2014), Cultural Policy in South Korea: Making a New Patron State (Routledge 2018), Asian Cultural Flows: Cultural Policy, Creative Industries and Media Consumers (Springer 2018) and Routledge Handbook of Cultural and Creative Industries in Asia (2018). She is currently working on a book on the cultural industries and the state in South Korea. 


Please complete registration online at Eventbrite (open until 16:00 22 March 2021). Joining instructions will be sent the day before the event. 

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Professor of Cultural Policy