Book Review: Cultural policies in East Asia. Dynamics between the State, Arts and Creative Industries, Hye-Kyung Lee and Lorraine Lim (eds)

Kate MacNeill


This book will be widely welcomed for the insights it provides on the state of cultural policy in five East Asian states: Singapore, China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. An exhaustive treatment of the subject is not the ambition of book, nor do the editors attempt to present an analysis of each country according to an overarching framework. Indeed what is most impressive is the way in which each chapter captures an essence of a nation's individual socio-economic and cultural history or contemporary context. Yet at the same time themes emerge which resonate across these diverse sites.

The book combines newly emerging aspects of cultural policy with more nuanced understanding of existing knowledge. It is organised around three broad themes: cultural policy as a project of nation building; the negotiation of culture between the government, private sector and the artistic community; and the evolution of a creative industries policy framework. This framing allows the authors to present a contemporary snapshot of government priorities, the agency of non-government players and the dynamic tension between state ambitions, private interests and individual expression of culture.


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Asia Pacific Journal of Arts and Cultural Management; ISSN 1449-1184
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