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Making power, doing politics: The film industry and economic development in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Neitzert, Eva (2007) Making power, doing politics: The film industry and economic development in Aotearoa/New Zealand. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Over the last decade creative industries, such as film and fashion, have become increasingly commonplace items on economic development agendas at urban, regional, and national scales. A sizeable academic literature has emerged to document this 'creative turn' in economic policy. The existing literature often locates the widespread adoption of creative industry policies within either a capitalist system that increasingly demands creativity if accumulation is to be secured or a series of powerful travelling policy discourses which impose themselves on local landscapes irrespective of fit. These explanations are, however, rarely substantiated empirically to show how, in very material ways, capitalism or travelling policy discourses make demands of a particular locality. In this thesis, Actor- Network Theory (ANT) is used to argue for a less 'determined' approach to the study of creative industries in economic development: the assumptions about macro phenomena structuring the local are put aside in order to tell the story of one situated case of creative industries-based economic development. The specific case that is examined is the film industry of Aotearoa/New Zealand. In the period from 1999 to 2005, the Aotearoa/New Zealand film industry went from being almost entirely absent from economic development policy to playing a central role. The thesis draws on extensive documentary analysis and 58 interviews to construct a description of the practices, devices, techniques, and knowledges that were deployed to constitute, shape, contest, and stabilise the role of the film industry within economic development. What emerges from this description is that contingency and opportunism, rather than capitalist demands or global travelling policy discourses, are key to explaining the prioritisation of the film industry. This suggests that ANT makes visible political processes that often remain hidden from view but are crucial to understanding the way that power is made and politics is done.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Economics, General, Cinema
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Sociology

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