Cultural policy as conflict transformation? Problematising the peacebuilding potential of cultural policy in Derry-Londonderry – UK City of Culture 2013

Peter Doak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cultural policy has long been leveraged as a vehicle of urban regeneration.
The cultural capital initiative has proven so attractive in this regard that it
has spawned numerous ‘national’ variants. A prominent example of this is
the UK City of Culture title. In a significant departure from the orthodoxy
of economic regeneration, when the inaugural title was bestowed upon
Derry-Londonderry, its remit was widened to include a promise of conflict
transformation and peacebuilding. The research presented below is
concerned with an interrogation of the relationship between cultural policy
and conflict transformation. Drawing on extensive research conducted in
Derry over a period of three years, examples of ethno-cultural contestation
are identified which problematise claims of conflict transformation,
illustrating instead how the title was incorporated into an existing zero-sum
framework of ethno-politics. It further problematises the location of much
the spectacle along a narrow corridor of regenerated riverfront, claiming that
this space obfuscates rather than transforms conflict. It concludes by arguing
that the relationship between current models of cultural policy and conflict
transformation is complex and problematic, and calls for further enquiry.
LanguageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Cultural Policy
Early online date5 Mar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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cultural policy
cultural conflict
cultural capital
politics
economics

Cite this

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title = "Cultural policy as conflict transformation? Problematising the peacebuilding potential of cultural policy in Derry-Londonderry – UK City of Culture 2013",
abstract = "Cultural policy has long been leveraged as a vehicle of urban regeneration.The cultural capital initiative has proven so attractive in this regard that ithas spawned numerous ‘national’ variants. A prominent example of this isthe UK City of Culture title. In a significant departure from the orthodoxyof economic regeneration, when the inaugural title was bestowed uponDerry-Londonderry, its remit was widened to include a promise of conflicttransformation and peacebuilding. The research presented below isconcerned with an interrogation of the relationship between cultural policyand conflict transformation. Drawing on extensive research conducted inDerry over a period of three years, examples of ethno-cultural contestationare identified which problematise claims of conflict transformation,illustrating instead how the title was incorporated into an existing zero-sumframework of ethno-politics. It further problematises the location of muchthe spectacle along a narrow corridor of regenerated riverfront, claiming thatthis space obfuscates rather than transforms conflict. It concludes by arguingthat the relationship between current models of cultural policy and conflicttransformation is complex and problematic, and calls for further enquiry.",
author = "Peter Doak",
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journal = "International Journal of Cultural Policy",
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