The local politics of creative industries policies in China. An analysis of Chinese municipal creative industries policies from different regions. The case of Beijing, Harbin and Guangzhou
thesisposted on 10.07.2017, 08:47 by Ken Wang
One of the central debates about the development and adoption of the 'creative industries' policy discourse in the UK has been about whether it is best understood as neoliberal. China imported the policy discourse of 'creative industries' from the UK in the 2000s and neoliberalism may also be one important characteristic of Chinese creative industries policies. However, the Chinese context is different from that of the UK in terms of state control, local autonomy, regional inequality, all of which have an influence on the interpretations and applications of the creative industries in China. This research advances the understanding of the development of Chinese creative industries policies through an analysis of the municipal creative industries policies from different regions, including Beijing, Harbin and Guangzhou. It draws on data from policy documents, extensive interviews with local policy makers and official data to provide a multi-dimensional analysis of policies from the three cities during 2001-20 I 3. In summary, this research argues that since policy makers began to make local creative industries policies, they have increasingly displayed a commercially and digitally oriented trend in promoting the marketisation of culture in an authoritarian context. The Chinese creative industries policies have not simply followed the understandings of British creative industries policies, and different cities emphasise neoliberal elements, authoritarian elements and welfare provision to different extents. The policies cannot be simply described by ready-made terms like neoliberalism, or 'neoliberalism with Chinese characteristics', but must be studied in local context to reveal their variety and specificity.