Neoliberal place competition and culturephilia: explored through the lens of Derry~Londonderry

Boland, P, Murtagh, B and Shirlow, P ORCID: 0000-0002-7483-9859
(2018) Neoliberal place competition and culturephilia: explored through the lens of Derry~Londonderry. Social and Cultural Geography.

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© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. In this article, we contribute to international debates on the impact and legacy of major cultural events. Using the theoretical backdrop of neoliberal urbanism, and our conceptual contribution of culturephilia, impact inflation and the three Cs, we examine Derry~Londonderry (D ~ L) UK City of Culture (CoC) 2013. Neoliberal urbanism generates fierce inter-city competition to host major cultural events, conditioning the actions of local stakeholders who produce bid documents resulting in excessive targets for impact and legacy, i.e. impact inflation. This is part of a wider fetishisation of the alleged curing qualities of culture, or culturephilia, which is underpinned by claims that cultural and creative policy interventions can enhance cities’ competitiveness, what we term as the three Cs of local and regional development. We show that in D ~ L culture has been somewhat successful as a ‘peace resource’, but less dynamic as an ‘economic resource’. The key lesson from D ~ L is that not delivering on the excessive economic targets creates frustration and disillusionment amongst those at the margins of society. Our advice to future cities of culture is, notwithstanding the incentive to inflate, they must be fully cognisant of the consequences of not delivering on extravagant targets for those most marginalised in society.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2018 09:40
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2022 11:32
DOI: 10.1080/14649365.2018.1514649