- The culture business caught in place: spatial trajectories of Dutch cultural industries, 1899-2005
- Award date
- 19 June 2012
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This thesis makes clear that city-specific institutional set-ups, practices and competitive advantages in cultural industries are very resilient over time. It is unlikely that generalized policy recipes can create such dedicated supply-side structures and specializations, and boost the competitive potential of local cultural industries, in the short-term. Sustained local investments in training institutions in particular, and in high-quality public commissions for cultural producers, do however yield results in the long run, particularly in capital-intensive cultural industries such as broadcasting and architecture, although these do not necessarily lead to international competitiveness or innovativeness. Such qualities are the product of intricate interplays between local industry-specific traditions and market conditioning, as well as a cluster’s historical position in national and international industry structures. The competitive position of Dutch cultural producers in general on global markets should be seen in the context of long-term processes of cultural globalization, and inequalities between countries in terms of cultural influence.
In theoretical terms, this study shows that the analysis of demand-side processes may be a necessary complement to supply-side analyses of clusters. Furthermore, the illusion that sophisticated cultural industries necessarily produce cosmopolitan products should be dispelled, as should the conflation between economic and artistic success of clusters, between innovativeness and competitiveness. Lastly, this study makes clear that cluster evolution can be explained without the analytical discontinuities between historical randomness and predetermination so salient in standard regional path dependency narratives, when the role of latent resources, structural demand-side dynamics and of bounded, reflexive agency by cluster actors is taken into account.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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