‘The public gets what the public wants’? The uses and abuses of ‘public value’ in contemporary British cultural policy

Lee, D. J., Oakley, K. and Naylor, R. (2011) ‘The public gets what the public wants’? The uses and abuses of ‘public value’ in contemporary British cultural policy. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 17(3), pp. 289-300. (doi:10.1080/10286632.2010.528834)

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Abstract

The aim of this article is to examine the adoption and use of the term ‘public value’ in both the broadcasting and the wider cultural arena. It examines the ideas, tensions and contradictions that exist in such a notion, asking whether it is simply empty rhetoric, or whether it tells us something more. It argues that the term stands as an example of a failed approach to policy‐making, being neither successfully technocratic, offering a clear methodology for assessing value, nor successfully rhetorical in the way that ‘the public good’, or ‘public service broadcasting’ can be deemed to have been. It also explores the means by which certain policy ideas are transmitted, briefly flourish and then dissipate, arguing that this may beat the cost to a longer‐term more sustainable mode of cultural policy‐making.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Oakley, Professor Kate
Authors: Lee, D. J., Oakley, K., and Naylor, R.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts
Journal Name:International Journal of Cultural Policy
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN:1028-6632
ISSN (Online):1477-2833
Published Online:25 January 2011

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