'The Politics of New Labour's Cultural Policies'

Series Name Department of Media and Communications Seminar Series
Speaker Professor Kate Oakley
Type Lectures & Talks
Starts at Nov 20, 2013 04:00 PM
Ends at Nov 20, 2013 05:30 PM
Venue Bankfield House Seminar Room, 132 New Walk
Open To Public
For Bookings Contact For inquiries, contact Dr Jonathan Ong at: jco10@le.ac.uk

This paper assesses the cultural policies of 'New Labour', the UK Labour government of 1997 to 2010. It takes neoliberalism as its starting point, asking to what extent Labour's cultural policies can be validly and usefully characterised as neoliberal. Using examples such as NESTA, museums policy and regional creative industries, it argues that neoliberalism is a significant but rather crude tool for evaluating and explaining New Labour's cultural policies.

At worst, it falsely implies that New Labour did not differ from Conservative approaches to cultural policy, downplays the effect of socio-cultural factors on policy making, and fails to differentiate varying periods and directions of policy. It does, however, usefully draw attention to the public policy environment in which Labour operated, in particular the damaging effects of focusing, to an excessive degree, on economic conceptions of the good in a way that does not recognise the limitations of markets as a way of organising production, circulation and consumption.