Deborah Stevenson, Professor of Sociology and Urban Cultural Research, Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University, Australia

This unique and insightful book provides a comprehensive examination of contemporary cultural policy and its discourses, influences, and consequences. It examines the factors that have led to a narrowing of cultural policy and suggests new ways of thinking about cultural policy beyond economics by reconnecting it with the practices of work, value, and the social.

With a particular focus on Australia and the UK, and with reference to transnational bodies including UNESCO, this book identifies and examines influential national and international factors that have shaped cultural policy, including its implementation of an economic agenda. Deborah Stevenson retraces the foundations of contemporary cultural policy, with chapters exploring the hierarchies of legitimacy that form the basis of value and excellence, the increased hegemony of the economy within the art world complex, and the notions of class and gender as two key factors of social inequality that shape access to the arts.

Analysing cultural value, work, and the social as important points of tension and potential disruption within contemporary cultural policy, this book will be essential reading for students and scholars of arts and cultural management, cultural policy studies, cultural sociology, economics, and leisure and urban studies. It will also be of interest to students, scholars, and practitioners across the humanities and the social sciences.