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The 'cultural turn' in Australian regional economic development discourse: neoliberalising creativity?

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Regional economic policy-makers are increasingly interested in the contribution

    of creativity to the economic performance of regions and, more generally, in its

    power to transform the images and identities of places. This has constituted a

    ‘cultural turn’, of sorts, away from an emphasis on macro-scale projects and

    employment schemes, towards an interest in the creative industries, entrepreneurial

    culture and innovation. This paper discusses how recent discourses of the

    role of ‘creativity’ in regions have drawn upon, and contributed to, particular

    forms of neoliberalisation. Its focus is the recent application of a statistical

    measure — Richard Florida’s (2002) ‘creativity index’ — to quantify spatial

    variations in creativity between Australia’s regions. Our critique is not of the

    creativity index per se, but of its role in subsuming creativity within a neoliberal

    regional economic development discourse. In this discourse, creativity is linked

    to the primacy of global markets, and is a factor in place competition, attracting

    footloose capital and ‘creative class’ migrants to struggling regions. Creativity

    is positioned as a central determinant of regional ‘success’ and forms a remedy

    for those places, and subjects, that currently ‘lack’ innovation. Our paper critiques

    these interpretations, and concludes by suggesting that neoliberal discourses

    ignore the varied ways in which ‘alternative creativities’ might underpin

    other articulations of the future of Australia’s regions.

Publication Date


  • 2005

Citation


  • Gibson, C. & Klocker, N. (2005). The 'cultural turn' in Australian regional economic development discourse: neoliberalising creativity?. Geographical Research, 43 (1), 93-102.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-17844362215

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/1185/

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 9

Start Page


  • 93

End Page


  • 102

Volume


  • 43

Issue


  • 1

Place Of Publication


  • Australia

Abstract


  • Regional economic policy-makers are increasingly interested in the contribution

    of creativity to the economic performance of regions and, more generally, in its

    power to transform the images and identities of places. This has constituted a

    ‘cultural turn’, of sorts, away from an emphasis on macro-scale projects and

    employment schemes, towards an interest in the creative industries, entrepreneurial

    culture and innovation. This paper discusses how recent discourses of the

    role of ‘creativity’ in regions have drawn upon, and contributed to, particular

    forms of neoliberalisation. Its focus is the recent application of a statistical

    measure — Richard Florida’s (2002) ‘creativity index’ — to quantify spatial

    variations in creativity between Australia’s regions. Our critique is not of the

    creativity index per se, but of its role in subsuming creativity within a neoliberal

    regional economic development discourse. In this discourse, creativity is linked

    to the primacy of global markets, and is a factor in place competition, attracting

    footloose capital and ‘creative class’ migrants to struggling regions. Creativity

    is positioned as a central determinant of regional ‘success’ and forms a remedy

    for those places, and subjects, that currently ‘lack’ innovation. Our paper critiques

    these interpretations, and concludes by suggesting that neoliberal discourses

    ignore the varied ways in which ‘alternative creativities’ might underpin

    other articulations of the future of Australia’s regions.

Publication Date


  • 2005

Citation


  • Gibson, C. & Klocker, N. (2005). The 'cultural turn' in Australian regional economic development discourse: neoliberalising creativity?. Geographical Research, 43 (1), 93-102.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-17844362215

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/1185/

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 9

Start Page


  • 93

End Page


  • 102

Volume


  • 43

Issue


  • 1

Place Of Publication


  • Australia