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Culture, Economy and Politics

The Case of New Labour



This book provides a major contribution to understanding of policy, politics, culture and the arts, via a case study of the UK New Labour government's cultural policies (1997-2010). How distinctive were these policies? Were they a reinvention of social democratic goals or an abandonment of them? Who were the key decision makers and what interests were they pursuing? And what impact did Labour's policies have on the cultural landscape and on society more generally? To answer these questions, Culture, Economy and Politics makes use of extensive interviews with major players, including senior politicians, civil servants and arts administrators. It also draws on a wealth of literature, including previously unexamined documents, and on a wide range of social and political theory. It tells the story of cultural policy at a time of profound social and political change, covering the arts, copyright, heritage, the creative industries, urban regeneration and regional policy. But it also illustrates the problems facing efforts to pursue social justice in the realm of arts and culture, and in public policy, in an era in which economic goals dominate government agendas.