How relevant are models or theories of cultural policy in pratice?

A comparative study of China and Singapore's cultural policy approaches.

Singapore theatre and performing arts venue The Esplanade
The Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, courtesy of Visit Singapore

This is an abstract from my first cultural policy essay as a Goldsmiths student (the full paper is available here.)


The aim of this essay is to critically analyse China and Singapore's different approaches to cultural policy development and implementation, particularly in relation to their impressive economic development in the past decades.

I will point out how these countries have elaborated previous cultural policy models and eventually built – or attempted to build – their own models and strategies to support the arts and culture.


Why China and Singapore?


The two ʻAsian samplesʼ I have chosen to analyse are quite different from each other for several reasons. Firstly, there is a significant difference in size; China is the ʻgiantʼ of Asia, whereas Singapore is a small city-state that can be described as the ʻmidgetʼ of the Asian continent. In addition, whilst China is one of the worldʼs oldest civilisations, Singapore is a newborn state. Nevertheless, what these two countries do have in common is an impressive phenomenon of economic growth that started almost simultaneously circa 30 years ago.


In the conclusion I will illustrate how these two countries also show interesting differences

and analogies in cultural policy development and implementation, in which the recent

vigorous economic growth plays a pivotal role.


Want to read the whole paper? Here it is.

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