Regulating cultural goods and identities across borders

Authored by: J.P. Singh

The Routledge Handbook of Global Cultural Policy

Print publication date:  September  2017
Online publication date:  September  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138857827
eBook ISBN: 9781315718408
Adobe ISBN:


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Nation-states often cite safeguarding cultural identity as their chief motive for regulating international trade in creative products. This essay analyses this motivation in the context of theories of regulation and international trade. I argue that the shift from naming creative products as cultural products implicates cultural anxiety, which makes such politics especially vulnerable to influence from powerful groups. In doing so, cultural identity often becomes synonymous with national identity and marginalises other cultural voices. Creative products in this essay mostly refer to those from fine and performing arts and entertainment industries in broadcasting, film, and music. The term cultural product implies a sense of group identity and, therefore, the co-option of creative products as symbols of cultural identity.

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