Research

Since the late ‘80s I have worked as a policy analyst, researcher and teacher, specialising in cultural policy and economics. My research experience includes:

  • Coordinating the research program of an international federation
  • Writing key international research papers on policy issues
  • Developing statistical frameworks and providing advice on statistical indicators
  • Analysing and presenting statistical research
  • Teaching cultural policy

Below are snippets from my research career.

Research topics

  • Cultural policy. What is cultural policy and what should it aim to achieve?
  • Creativity. The predominant notion that creativity is about innovation and ideas does not always work well for art or artistic creativity. An Aristotlean concept of creativity, though unfashionable, is more suited to cultural policy.
  • Advocating art, culture and creativity. Applying strategic analysis to advocacy and lobbying.
  • Economics of the arts/Cultural Economics. Explorations of the often uncomfortable relationships between economics and cultural policy.
  • Research tools, models, analysis. Models and tools to help make sense of cultural policies and cultural policy research.
  • Statistics and indicators. Applying statistical analysis to issues of cultural policy. I have advised on the development of statistical indicators, produced key international reviews and guides, developed frameworks and models, analysed and presented statistical analyses, and produced statistical compendia.
  • Programs, policies and operations of government agencies. At IFACCA I undertook and coordinated research on policies, programs and good practice in the operation of government arts and culture agencies.

View a publications list>

Other research experience

Research program coordination. From 2001 to 2008 I was Research Analyst at IFACCA. I managed the Federation’s research program, developed its research capacity, promoted its international profile, and wrote research reports. I coordinated the Federation’s international researcher community, arranged and chaired international researcher meetings.

Editing and reviewing. From 2006 to 2012 I was a member of the editorial advisory board of academic journal Cultural Trends. In 2010 I coordinated a special two-volume Australasian edition of the journal. I have undertaken peer review for International Journal of Cultural Policy, Cultural Trends, Evaluation, and Asia Pacific Journal of Arts and Cultural Management, and edited research undertaken by government policy agencies for IFACCA.

Teaching. I have taught cultural policy for the Masters in Cultural Policy course of the Australian Institute of Music and Sydney Opera House, and have tutored Economics at Macquarie University, UNSW, St Andrews University (Scotland), and Otago University (New Zealand).

Some highlights

Australasian edition of Cultural Trends. In 2010 I organised a special two-volume Australasian edition of Cultural trends. The edition contains ten papers on the ‘state of play’ in the use of evidence in cultural policymaking in Australia and New Zealand. The high level of response to  the call for papers, which required the special edition to run to two volumes, illustrated an unmet need in Australasian cultural policy, discussed further in my online piece Encouraging the academy.

Statistical indicators for arts policy is described as a ‘valuable document’ in Ruth Towse’s A textbook for cultural economics (Cambridge University Press, 2010)! A section of the report is reproduced verbatim (see pages 279 and 280).

Monolithic cultural policy, my chapter in Making meaning, making money: Directions for the arts and cultural industries in the creative age, edited by Oakley and Anderson (2008) gave me a chance to pursue my thoughts about the importance of Indigenous culture to Australian cultural policy, and to emphasise the connection between cultural policy and Reconciliation. I am often outraged by Australia’s policies toward Indigenous people. This chapter gave me a chance to let off a bit of steam and propose a way forward. The chapter also lists a number of other things I think are important in Australian cultural policy. Read Monolithic cultural policy.

Using economic impact studies in arts and cultural advocacy: A cautionary note. This paper first appeared in Media International Australia Incorporating Culture and Policy in 2001. It has been my most widely read and cited paper. When the arts marketing website Fuel4Arts (now defunct) hosted a copy, it became one of the most downloaded items on the website. 40 citations in Google Scholar and counting…

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