T02P32 - Cultural Policy: Local/National/Regional/Global

Topic : Comparative Public Policy sponsored by Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis

Chair : Su Fern Hoe - sfhoe@smu.edu.sg

Second Chair : Tully Barnett - tully.barnett@flinders.edu.au

General Objectives, Research Questions and Scientific Relevance

Call for papers

Session 1 Cultural Policy in Singapore

Wednesday, June 28th 16:15 to 18:15 (Block B 4 - 5)


Su Fern Hoe - sfhoe@smu.edu.sg - School of Social Sciences, Singapore Management University - Singapore

Tully Barnett - tully.barnett@flinders.edu.au - Flinders University - Australia


Creative imaginings: Living Singapore’s Creative City Policies by arts practitioners

Shahril Salleh - MOHAMEDS008@e.ntu.edu.sg - School of Social Science, Nanyang Technological University - Singapore

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This paper seeks to examine at the relationship between the state and the arts in Singapore. It explores the issues surrounding the consequences and outcomes of Singapore’s creative city policies on the practice and production of the arts in the city-state since its implementation in 1999. Current Literature suggests that state driven cultural policies play a significant role in curating specific types of arts that is desirable for the state. However, they provide inadequate attention to how the arts practitioners interact and operationalize with said policies. Thus, I argue that these desired outcomes and unintended consequences are mainly the result of how the arts practitioners imagine the presence of the state in their lives through the enactment of these policies. These imaginings then shape their lived reality and daily practices, as well as inform them of how they allow themselves to be governed. Furthermore, I posit that differences in genres that exist within art-forms could account for and explain the existence and reproduction of some of the inequalities that are present within the lived experiences of the Singaporean arts practitioners.


This paper elicited the articulations of nine arts practitioners from different practices regarding their imagination of their personal as well as institutional vis-à-vis their choir’s relationship with the state. By doing so, I hope to discover what are some of the common factors and resonating issues that exist within the practice of art making that these art practitioners consider to be influential to the creation and practice of the arts in Singapore as well as the arts in general. By extension, I also hope to understand further if there are indeed differences of how each genre is believed to be treated differently by the state.  The findings strongly suggest that the premise that the way in which the arts are practiced and produced in Singapore is significantly influenced by the state, and that the impact and outcomes of the creative city policies have failed to live up to its promise of creating a distinctive cultural city of the arts.



Sponsorships in culture: Partnerships between government or statutory board and private sponsors and the public art museums in Singapore

Ramesh Narayanan - caravaggio1973@gmail.com - Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, LASALLE College of the Arts - Singapore

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Since the late 1990s, there has been abundant attention lavished on promoting the arts and culture in Singapore. The Singapore government’s initiative, The Report of the Advisory Council on Culture and The Arts was released in 1989 recommending the importance of culture and the arts. Ten years later, the Renaissance City Reports in 1999, highlighted the plans to establish a “Global City for the Arts”. The state’s reasons for creating a strong arts industry were to strengthen the social cohesion of the nation, and to boost the economy by contributing to the tourist and entertainment sectors. The ambitions of government were global and outward looking. The continual emphasis on developing the arts and allowing more room for creativity in the arts and cultural industry was sustained by the government’s aspiration to become an international arts centre. The development of the arts and cultural industry would provide more avenues for expansion and progress of the economy. Infrastructural investments resulted in the formation of the public art museums, namely the Singapore Arts Museum, National Museum of Singapore and National Gallery Singapore. These public art museums have been actively involved in the visual arts in Singapore, but there has been little research undertaken on the work of these public art museums, with special reference to working with government or statutory board and private sponsors. In addition, these public art museums work closely with government or statutory board and private sponsors for funding sponsorships to carry out their full spectrum of exhibitions and public programmes.


Originality and value

This research is offered as one contribution to rectifying the apparent imbalance; it focuses on three closely interrelated aspects of the work of the public art museums in the visual arts. First, it will develop an understanding of the historical background (2004 to 2008).  Second, it will develop an understanding of recent developments (2009 to 2013). Third, it will develop an understanding of the perspectives of the public art museums’ key leaders on the work of the public art museums, with special reference to working with government or statutory board and private sponsors.


Design / methodology

The research is located within the interpretivist paradigm and will adopt grounded theory approaches to data collection and analysis. Qualitative in-depth semi-structured individual-based interviews were conducted to reveal concerns of the public art museums’ key leaders regarding the work of the public art museums in the visual arts. National Heritage Board annual reports were analysed in relation to the historical background and recent developments in the public art museums’ work in the visual arts in Singapore.



The major themes related to working with government or statutory board sponsor were national responsibility and communication. Aside from these, the major themes related to working with private sponsors were extended exhibition programming and negotiation. An interesting discovery was that the major theme of agreement terms appeared in both working with government or statutory board and private sponsors.


The public art museums’ key leaders identified that the public art museums were national institutions built by the government to fulfill their national responsibility through community-focused exhibitions and public programmes, and this was because of the importance of accountability to the public for the funds provided. The sponsorship came with agreement terms and had restrictions on the type of exhibitions and public programmes that were organized, as the need to avoid controversial and politically sensitive artworks was important to avoid unnecessary attention from the social media and press. The need for communication with the government or statutory board sponsor was also crucial as the need to update them on the curatorial selection of artworks was expected. Having continuous discussions with them on the exhibitions and public programmes enabled a positive partnership to take place, which then resulted in future funding opportunities.


In addition to the above, working with the private sponsor permitted the public art museums’ key leaders to have an extended exhibition programming which was made possible through the additional funding and access to private collections, therefore enriching the aesthetic and learning experiences of the public. This opportunity to work with the private sponsor also came with agreement terms, which for the private sponsor was mainly about the return on investments that would be obtained through this partnership with the public art museums’ key leaders. The need for negotiation with the private sponsor was something that the public art museums’ key leaders had to pursue as part of this sponsorship and this was achieved by cultivating good working relationships with them that employed a win-win strategy where both parties benefitted from this collaborative partnership.


The need to work with government or statutory board and private sponsor was unavoidable and this was embraced by the public art museums’ key leaders in order to enable the public to have a holistic experience in the visual arts in Singapore. Therefore this research identified the areas that were crucial in these partnerships and understanding the perspectives of the public art museums’ key leaders gave a fresh outlook on the work of the public art museums in the visual arts in Singapore.


Key words

Historical background, Recent developments, Sponsorship, Partnership, Public art museums, Public art museums’ key leaders.


Great Expectations: Tracing Community Arts in Singapore

Ong Karis - karisong@smu.edu.sg - School of Social Sciences, Singapore Management University - Singapore

Su Fern Hoe - sfhoe@smu.edu.sg - School of Social Sciences, Singapore Management University - Singapore

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Since the release of the latest cultural policy – The Arts and Culture Strategic Review (ACSR) – in 2012, there has been significant recognition of “community arts” as a meaningful activity with social value and impact, from cultural policy makers, artists, arts groups, and civic organisations. Yet, despite the active role of the government and the proliferation of programmes and projects, there is a lack of common understanding of the contours and characteristics of community arts in Singapore. The term “community arts” itself is currently ill-defined; it must take into account the multiple sites and stakeholders that are involved.


This paper is a critical examination of the nature, extent and implications of this focus on community arts in Singapore. Through a process-tracing and cultural mapping of official state narratives, this paper will demonstrate how this focus on harnessing the social values and community impact of the arts is not a “discrete and discontinuous act” (Chua 1995: 69) in Singapore’s arts and cultural policy. Rather, it has been a consistent part of Singapore’s “bureaucratic imagination” of the arts (Chong 2015: 20), and in line with global trends. Ultimately, this paper is but a starting point towards a new mode of analysis that will provide critical insights into the role of the arts in Singapore, and new terms for (re)thinking the relations between government, artists and society.

Session 2 Cultural Policy: The Logics of Culture

Thursday, June 29th 08:15 to 10:15 (Block B 4 - 5)


Su Fern Hoe - sfhoe@smu.edu.sg - School of Social Sciences, Singapore Management University - Singapore

Tully Barnett - tully.barnett@flinders.edu.au - Flinders University - Australia

Implementing the UNESCO Living Human Treasure System in China: A Comparative Analysis

Christina Maags - christina.maags@gtc.ox.ac.uk - Goethe University Frankfurt and Oxford University - United Kingdom

During the past two decades, the international protection of traditional cultural practices has taken center stage in international cultural governance. With the adoption of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2003, 171 state parties have committed to implementing domestic “intangible cultural heritage” (ICH) safeguarding measures. ICH refers to “practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage” (UNESCO 2003). Among the earliest signatories is the People’s Republic of China (PRC), which has eagerly implemented various UNESCO “best practices” of ICH safeguarding. This is surprising as the PRC previously neglected and criticized many forms of traditional culture - most notably during the Cultural Revolution. Among the UNESCO’s best practices, the PRC adopted its own variation of the Living Human Treasures System – the ICH Inheritor program which seeks to promote the transmission of ICH practices within local communities by financially supporting selected cultural practitioners.


This paper analyzes how the PRC has adopted and implemented its ICH Inheritors program locally and how the implementation process has impacted local stakeholders differently depending on the government level and geographical region of implementation. By retracing the implementation of the ICH Inheritor programs across the provincial, municipal and county level in three provinces (Jiangsu, Jiangxi and Yunnan provinces), this paper contributes to a deeper understanding of how UNESCO-inspired domestic cultural policies affect local cultural protection differently across China. Basing the analysis on policy implementation theories (Hjern 1982; Mazmanian and Sabatier 1986), the author has examined primary (Chinese policy documents, laws and newspaper articles) and secondary (English and Chinese academic studies) data and has conducted five-months of fieldwork during which interviews with government officials, experts and cultural practitioners were collected.


The study demonstrates that the introduction of the ICH Inheritor System has had profound implications for local communities across China, particularly for cultural practitioners and ICH experts. Firstly, while cultural practitioners who obtain the title of “ICH Inheritor” strongly benefit economically and socially from inscription, cultural practitioners who are not part of the program have comparative disadvantages, creating local contestation and conflicts. Yet, by assuming their role as an ICH inheritor, the cultural practitioners also become “cultural agents” of the party-state who are to advance cultural nationalism and local economic development. As a result, the party-state has assumed comprehensive control over local ICH practices as it has the power to determine what ICH is and who can officially represent it. The system has, secondly, resulted in a growing pluralization of the Chinese policy process since “ICH experts” need to be consulted during various stages of policy formulation and implementation, adding additional external “agents” to the PRC’s cultural governance. Ultimately, the incorporation of non-state actors into the policy process creates a diverse opportunity structure for these actors, which however differs according to governmental level and geographical region.


Cultural policy and diaspora: a comparative analysis

Toine Minnaert - a.j.c.minnaert@uu.nl - Utrecht University - Netherlands

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In this paper I will explore how different countries address in their (inter)national cultural policy the issue of diaspora, in other words the connection between the national community inside and outside the territorial borders of the nation state. This leads to conclusions both on the possible differences and similarities between countries regarding this policy issue and the question if smaller countries have a significantly different approach from larger countries, and on the use of critical discourse analysis as a method for comparative studies. I am particularly interested if the size of the national population both within and outside the borders are of influence of this relation, and if there's a difference in how conservative or progressive the approach to traditions is. The working hypothesis is that the national communities abroad have a longer tradition of a more nostalgic and conservative approach towards national cultural identity.


Culture played an important role in nation building in Europe in the 19th century (Hall 1996), but as a result of globalisation and subsequent migration waves, the relation between nation, state and culture has changed considerably in the 20th and 21st century (Baumann2011). This lead to a situation in which almost all national cultural communities are a majority in their ‘own’ nation state, but also a minority in other countries. In the Netherlands this development has long been addressed in cultural policy. In the nineties this resulted in increased attention for cultural diversity in cultural policy and the(mis)representation of cultural minorities from abroad. In the noughties cultural diversity was gradually considered a threat for the national identity, and surprisingly the role for cultural policy in the debate on national identity has since been marginal, and the debate on national identity has turned inward considerably (Minnaert 2016). Also, there has been very little attention for the Dutch communities abroad; it has occasionally been addressed in policy texts concerning foreign cultural relations, and mostly related to heritage and traditions.


As a method, I will use a critical close reading of the relevant policy texts, using elements of the critical discourse analysis (CDA) and the  way national culture is both addressed in and constructed through such a policy text. Particularly the work of Roth Wodak (Wodak 1999, 2009) on the discursive construction of national identity and her use of CDA are relevant for this.I will look at the developments in the 21st century, using both primary sources (e.g. formal websites of government institutes) and secondary (e.g. the compendium on the cultural policy of different European countries). I plan to look at Europe (the Germany, France, the Netherlands, Greece, Norway) and Asia/the Pacific (China, Japan, Australia, South Korea).

Theoretically, especially the work of Zygmund Baumann and his use of the concepts liquid modernity and nomadism (Baumann 2000, 2011) are usefull when looking at the possible differences and similarities in national communities. Also of interest are Stuart Hall’s article on cultural identity and diaspora (Hall 1993) are useful, Roudometof’s work on glocalization (Roudometof2016) and Shain’s and Barth’s work on diaspora connected to international relations theory (Shain and Barth 2003).


Percent for Art Ordinance in South Korea

Bae Kwanpyo - kwanpyo@gmail.com - Seoul National University - Korea, (South) Republic of

Park Jung-su - t90m2k1@gmail.com - The Korea Institute for Public Affiars - Korea, (South) Republic of

taeyeon Kim - ktypong@snu.ac.kr - Seoul National University - Korea, (South) Republic of

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Why does government support the arts? By common consensus, market fails to supply the optimum quantity of the arts because it belongs to public goods. The phenomena, ‘under-provision and under-consumption of public goods’ show the reason why we need the government intervention. The government has to prevent both of them. However the policies to increase consumption are far less studied than those to increase provision such as direct and indirect public funding for artists. This article studies the government intervention to increase consumption of the arts by a regulation, South Korea’s ‘percent for art ordinance.’ In 1995, the South Korean government enacted a regulation that a person who builds a building above seven thousands square meters must purchase an artwork worth one percent of the building cost and install it in an open space. The abnormality of South Korea’s regulation is that even private owners are subject to the regulation. That is why sculptures are installed in front of private buildings as well as public buildings in South Korea. However there were severe criticisms that they did not hold artistic value at all and people rather feel repulsion toward them. In 2011, the government deregulated the regulation into allowing the owner to contribute seventy percent of artwork purchasing cost to National Art and Literature Promotion Fund instead of purchasing and installing an artwork. The purpose of this article is to investigate the problems of the government intervention which focuses on forcing people to consume the arts. This article will prove that the regulation distorts the arts consumption by analyzing how much the sizes of artworks explain their prices, assuming that the value of an artwork is not based on its size. This article is expected to show that forced consumption of the arts decreases the quality even though it increase the quantity of the arts consumption.

Session 3 The Value of Culture, The Culture of Value

Thursday, June 29th 10:30 to 12:30 (Block B 4 - 5)


Su Fern Hoe - sfhoe@smu.edu.sg - School of Social Sciences, Singapore Management University - Singapore

Tully Barnett - tully.barnett@flinders.edu.au - Flinders University - Australia

The “European Capitals of Culture” program as a political tool of legitimacy in Europe: Actors, Audiences and Aspirations

Elena Raevskikh - elena_raevskikh@yahoo.fr - Centre Norbert Elias - France

JAFFRE Maxime - maxime.jaffre@univ-amu.fr - CNRS - Centre Norbert Elias, Marseille - France

Emmanuel Pedler - emmanuel.pedler@univ-amu.fr - EHESS - France


The European cultural policy programs, such as the ECC (European Capitals of Culture), are important tools of identity politics that seek to strengthen the legitimacy in Europe and to develop new forms of European civic cohesion through inclusive and participative cultural events. Political attempts to concretise the European cultural identity include both symbols and practices and how those are framed and experienced by citizens as well as by the pre-existing cultural institutions durably anchored on the national territories.

The cultural assets of a city elected "ECC" are mobilized to attract a wide range of new audiences, including populations poorly integrated into local cultural life – and consequently distant from the European cultural values. In the current context of increasingly heterogeneous individual perceptions of Europe, the ECC program aims to promote the common identity symbols of the EU, but also cultural forms and institutions that should accelerate both territorial and cross-border European cohesion. The new cultural consumption pattern is conceived to stimulate integration and mobility, but also to create a legitimate and transnational ideal European citizen type. However, cultural struggles and identity conflicts that are emerging in contemporary Europe raise new challenges for European cultural policies to cope with inclusion and integration with populations poorly integrated into local cultural life.

Our comparative research confronts contrasting cases of "European Capitals of Culture" from the south and from the north of Europe, cities recently concerned by the ECC political mechanism and cities that were elected ECC in the past, multi-centered cultural models vs. highly centralized cultural models. We aim to explore the impacts of European cultural policies on the personal experiences that are present in the citizen’s everyday life, how are they perceived, and how they interact with common urban identities and pre-existing cultural practices.




(How) did museums escape New Public Management? The special case of cultural value

Scott Brenton - sbrenton@unimelb.edu.au - University of Melbourne - Australia

Geert Bouckaert - geert.bouckaert@soc.kuleuven.be - KU Leuven Public Governance Institute - Belgium

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Traditionally major national museums in many countries have been based in the capital city, and often been conservative and even exclusionary in terms of their depictions of cultural identity and audiences served (see Gilmore and Rentschler 2002). In recent decades there have been a range of political, social and cultural pressures to change, adapt and modernise (Windey et al. 2008), in addition to economic and ideological factors stemming from public sector reforms commonly known as New Public Management (NPM), which is the focus of this paper. While there is some literature on specialist museum management (and particularly marketing) (e.g. Moore 1994; Sandell and Janes 2007; Camarero and Garrido 2008), studies within a broader public sector management context are less common.


As major museums are public institutions in most countries, the sector has had to grapple with a familiar set of challenges confronting all public organisations (Windey et al. 2008). These include: constrained government funding and fiscal consolidation after crises; organisational and management changes away from bureaucratic hierarchies; preferences for increased marketisation, outsourcing and increased user fees; an orientation towards the ‘customer’ and reliance on social networks; and the adoption of performance indicators (see Gilmore and Rentschler 2002; Paulus 2003). While these reforms to most parts of the public sector have been extensively studied, museums have largely been excluded as a special case. This is because museums often have a special administrative status, a distinctive ‘publicness’ and relationship with the private and not-for-profit sectors, along with embedded notions of value beyond economic, utilitarian or individualistic.


In this study we examine a sample consisting of twenty of the world’s most visited museums in order to understand how museums have not only responded to austerity and public sector efficiency drives but have seemingly flourished, innovated and broadened their audiences. We apply a refined input-output-outcome framework and observe three trends: an expansion of the logic of consequences, the increased visibility of the logic of appropriateness, and a tension between the two logics. We argue that, perhaps perversely, NPM reforms have enabled museums to more clearly articulate and promote their cultural value inclusively to mass markets whereas previously they were elite-driven institutions.




Camarero, Carmen, Maria José Garrido (2008) ‘The Influence of Market and Product Orientation on Museum Performance’, International Journal of Arts Management, 10(2), pp.14-26.


Gilmore, Audrey, Ruth Rentschler (2002) ‘Changes in museum management: A custodial or marketing emphasis?’, Journal of Management Development, 21(10), pp. 745-760.


Moore, Kevin (ed.) (1994) Museum Management. Leicester Readers in Museum Studies, Routledge, Abingdon.


Paulus, Odile (2003) ‘Measuring Museum Performance: A Study of Museums in France and the United States’, International Journal of Arts Management, 6(1), pp. 50-63.


Sandell, Richard, Robert R. Janes (eds) (2007) Museum Management and Marketing. Leicester Readers in Museum Studies. Routledge, Abingdon.


Windey, Jeroen, Geert Bouckaert, Koen Verhoest (2008) Contracts and Performance: Managing Museums. In Demarsin, Bert. Schrage, E., Tilleman, Bernard, Verbeke, Alain (eds) Art & Law. Die Keure, Brugge, pp. 520-555.


The Arts and the Humanities: Mapping Cultural Federalism in the US

Eleonora Redaelli - redaelli@uoregon.edu - University of Oregon - United States

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In this paper, I investigate processes of cultural policymaking in the United States. I provide an analysis of how the arts and humanities have become a concern of the American federal government (agenda setting) and an examination of how an intricate bureaucratic structure has been developed in order to support them (implementation). I focus on the bureaucratic structure developed by the American government, starting with the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965. The language of the law articulates relevance by claiming that the arts and humanities reflect the value of American cultural heritage and the diverse values of its pluralistic society. Moreover, it states that the leadership of the United States should not only be concerned with power, wealth, and technology, but also with the development of ideas and the spirit of all Americans. Therefore, the support of the arts and humanities should be both private and public, including the federal government. The choice of government agencies as the unit of analysis to understand cultural policy issues is based on policy studies that focus on implementation and consider bureaucracies the most tangible instrument for addressing issues of public concern. In particular, I draw from the concept of cultural federalism to explain the multi-level governance model emerging from the implementation of the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act and map the organizations established over the years at the federal and state level. This mapping exercise identifies these organizations and describes their history. In particular, I highlight how multi-level governance interlocks these organizations by connecting different levels of government, enhancing vertical intergovernmental relations, and leveraging highly differentiated resources that come from multiple actors.  Finally, I examine each organization’s 2014 total revenues to show how much they all contribute to the overall public investments in the arts and humanities. This paper fits the second topic of the panel “Cultural policy: Local/National/Regional,” which asks for papers that investigate processes of cultural policymaking.

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