Making the Case for Art and Culture: Persistent Challenges

  • Peter CampbellEmail author
Part of the Sociology of the Arts book series (SOA)


Many emphasise the need for evidence to substantiate the role played by art and culture. Despite much activity to generate such evidence, arguments regarding the need to improve this evidence base persist. This chapter presents findings on evidence production between 2006 and 2014, considering what this evidence seeks to demonstrate, and the persistent challenges faced in its production. These involve a lack of resources, a focus on short-term, or exclusively economic outcomes, and a lack of clarity regarding the terms of research. Despite these challenges, certain positions regarding the role played by art and culture persist, suggesting that the role evidence plays in substantiating such positions is a complex one.


  1. ACAVA. (2014). Regeneration archive. Retrieved from
  2. APPG. (2017). Creative health: The arts for health and wellbeing. Retrieved from
  3. Arts Council England. (2009). The North West Housing Market Renewal arts partnership. Retrieved from
  4. Arts Council England. (2014). The value of arts and culture to people and society: An evidence review. Manchester: Arts Council England.Google Scholar
  5. Arts Council Northern Ireland. (2014). Ambitions for the arts: A five year strategic plan for the arts in Northern Ireland 2013–2018. Belfast: Arts Council Northern Ireland.Google Scholar
  6. Audit Commission. (1991). Local authorities, entertainment and the arts. London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.Google Scholar
  7. Audit Commission. (2011). Housing Market Renewal: Housing, programme review. Retrieved from
  8. Bailey, C. (2006). Cultural values and culture led regeneration: The case of Newcastle-Gateshead. Retrieved from
  9. Bakhshi, H., Hargreaves, I., & Mateos Garcia, J. (2013). A manifesto for the creative economy. London: Nesta.Google Scholar
  10. Barnardo’s. (2005). Art of regeneration: Evaluating the impact of the arts in a disadvantaged community. Retrieved from
  11. BBC. (2009). City gears up for culture finale. Retrieved from
  12. Belfiore, E. (2006). The unacknowledged legacy: Plato, the Republic and cultural policy. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 12(2), 229–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Belfiore, E. (2009). On bullshit in cultural policy practice and research: Notes from the British case. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 15(3), 343–359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Belfiore, E. (2015). ‘Impact’, ‘value’ and ‘bad economics’: Making sense of the problem of value in the arts and humanities. Arts & Humanities in Higher Education, 14(1), 95–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Blank, L., Ellis, L., Goyder, E., & Peters, J. (2004). Tackling inequalities in mental health: The experience of new deal for communities. Retrieved from
  16. Böhm, S., & Land, C. (2009). No measure for culture? Value in the new economy. Capital & Class, 33(1), 75–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Brennan, D. (2010). A better place to live: 10 years of the new deal in Radford and Hyson Green. Nottingham: Castle Cavendish Foundation.Google Scholar
  18. Brooks-Pollock, T. (2013, October 12). Manchester International Festival created hundreds of new jobs in £38 m boost for city, report says. Manchester Evening News. Retrieved from
  19. CABE. (2008). Artists & places: Engaging creative minds in regeneration. Retrieved from
  20. Campbell, P., & Cox, T. (2017). ‘Regeneration’ in Britain: Measuring the outcomes of cultural activity in the 21st century. In V. Durrer, T. Miller, & D. O’Brien (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of global cultural policy (pp. 538–557). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. CASE. (2011). The art of the possible—Using secondary data to detect social and economic impacts from investments in culture and sport: A feasibility study. Retrieved from
  22. Cavendish, N. (2008). Culture and money. Retrieved from
  23. CEBR. (2013). The contribution of the arts and culture to the national economy. London: Centre for Economics and Business Research Ltd.Google Scholar
  24. Colomb, C. (2011). Culture in the city, culture for the city? The political construction of the trickle-down in cultural regeneration strategies in Roubaix, France. Town Planning Review, 81(1), 77–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Comedia. (2004). Culture and regeneration: An evaluation of the evidence. Nottingham: Comedia.Google Scholar
  26. Connolly, M. G. (2013). The ‘Liverpool model(s)’: Cultural planning, Liverpool and Capital of Culture 2008. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 19(2), 162–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Conservative and Unionist Party. (2017). Manifesto 2017. Retrieved from
  28. Cox, T., & O’Brien, D. (2012). The “Scouse Wedding” and other myths and legends: Reflections on the evolution of a “Liverpool model” for culture-led regeneration. Cultural Trends, 21(2), 93–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. DCLG. (2007). The Single Regeneration Budget: Final evaluation. Retrieved from
  30. DCLG. (2009). National evaluation of Housing Market Renewal Pathfinders 2005–2007. Retrieved from
  31. DCLG. (2010). The new deal for communities experience: A final assessment. Retrieved from
  32. DCLG. (2013). Investing in your future: Case study booklet—East Midlands European Regional Development Fund programme, 2007–2013. Retrieved from
  33. DCMS. (2004). Culture at the heart of regeneration. London: DCMS.Google Scholar
  34. DCMS. (2016). The culture white paper. London: DCMS.Google Scholar
  35. DCMS & BIS. (2009). Digital Britain. Norwich: The Stationery Office.Google Scholar
  36. DC Research. (2011). Economic value and impact of Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Retrieved from
  37. Dhamak Beats. (2012). About Dhamak. Retrieved from
  38. Edwards, A., Crossley, C., & Brooke, C. (2013, November 20). City of culture? It’s a hull of a thought! £184 million boost for the area once derided as a dump. Daily Mail. Retrieved from–184million-boost-area-derided-dump.html.
  39. Ela Palmer Heritage. (2008). The social impacts of heritage-led regeneration. London: Ela Palmer Heritage.Google Scholar
  40. English Partnerships. (2008). Additionality guide: A standard approach to assessing the additional impact of interventions. Retrieved from
  41. Ennis, N., & Douglass, G. (2011). Culture and regeneration—What evidence is there of a link and how can it be measured? London: GLA.Google Scholar
  42. ESRC. (2009). Not only…but also: Capturing the value of culture, media and sport. Swindon: ESRC.Google Scholar
  43. European Commission. (2013). Housing investments supported by the European Regional Development Fund 2007–2013: Housing in sustainable urban regeneration. Retrieved from
  44. European Parliament. (2016). FEFF report on a coherent EU policy for cultural and creative industries. Retrieved from FEFF
  45. Evans, G. (2003). Hard-branding the cultural city—From Prado to Prada. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 27(2), 417–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Evans, G. (2005). Measure for measure: Evaluating the evidence of culture’s contribution to regeneration. Urban Studies, 42(5–6), 959–983.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Evans, G. (2011). Cities of culture and the regeneration game. London Journal of Tourism, Sport and Creative Industries, 5(6), 5–18.Google Scholar
  48. Evans, G., & Shaw, P. (2004). The contribution of culture to regeneration in the UK: A review of evidence. London: DCMS.Google Scholar
  49. Flew, T. (2010). Toward a cultural economic geography of creative industries and urban development: Introduction to the special issue on creative industries and urban development. The Information Society, 26(2), 85–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Gallie, W. B. (1956). Art as an essentially contested concept. The Philosophical Quarterly, 6(23), 97–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. García, B. (2004). Cultural policy and urban regeneration in Western European cities: Lessons from experience, prospects for the future. Local Economy, 19(4), 312–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. García, B. (2005). Deconstructing the city of culture: The long-term cultural legacies of Glasgow 1990. Urban Studies, 42(5–6), 841–868.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. García, B., & Cox, T. (2013). European Capitals of Culture: Success strategies and long-term effects. Retrieved from
  54. Gateshead Council. (2006). The angel of the North. Retrieved from
  55. General Public Agency. (2008). Art at the centre phase II—Final evaluation report 2005–2008. London: General Public Agency.Google Scholar
  56. GHK. (2009). Economic impact of HLF projects, volume 1—Main report. Retrieved from
  57. Gorard, S. (2006). Using everyday numbers effectively in research. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  58. Gosling, P. (2010, March 2). Economic future is bright for the city that’s brimming with culture. Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved from
  59. Gray, C. (2006). Managing the unmanageable: The politics of cultural planning. Public Policy and Administration, 21(2), 101–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Gray, C. (2008). Arts council England and public value: A critical review. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 14(2), 209–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Gray, C. (2009). Managing cultural policy: Pitfalls and prospects. Public Administration, 87(3), 574–585.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Hesmondhalgh, D. (2007). The cultural industries. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  63. Hesmondhalgh, D., Oakley, K., Lee, D., & Nisbett, M. (2015). Culture, economy and politics—The case of new labour. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Hewison, R. (2014). Cultural capital: The rise and fall of creative Britain. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  65. HM Treasury. (2003). The Green Book: Appraisal and evaluation in central government. Retrieved from
  66. Holden, J. (2007). Publicly-funded culture and the creative industries. London: Arts Council England.Google Scholar
  67. Hughes, G. (1989). Measuring the economic value of the arts. Policy Studies, 9(3), 152–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Hull, D. (2013). Examining social inclusion in the arts in Northern Ireland. Belfast: Northern Ireland Assembly.Google Scholar
  69. Hyslop, D. (2012). Culture, regeneration and community: Reinventing the city. Gateways: International Journal of Community Research and Engagement, 5, 152–165.Google Scholar
  70. Johanson, K., Glow, H., & Kershaw, A. (2014). New modes of arts participation and the limits of cultural indicators for local government. Poetics, 43, 43–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Jones, P., & Evans, J. (2008). Urban regeneration in the UK. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  72. Knell, J., & Oakley, K. (2007). London’s creative economy: An accidental success? London: The Work Foundation.Google Scholar
  73. Labadi, S. (2008). Evaluating the socio-economic impacts of selected regeneration heritage sites in Europe. Retrieved from
  74. LARC. (2011). Liverpool Thrive programme final report. Retrieved from
  75. Law, J., & Urry, J. (2004). Enacting the social. Economy and Society, 33(3), 390–410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Leather, P., Nevin, B., Cole, I., & Eadson, W. (2012). The Housing Market Renewal programme in England: Development, impact and legacy. Retrieved from
  77. Lees, L., & Melhuish, C. (2015). Arts-led regeneration in the UK: The rhetoric and the evidence on urban social inclusion. European Urban and Regional Studies, 22(3), 242–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. LGA. (2013). Driving growth through local government investment in the arts. London: Local Government Association.Google Scholar
  79. Liu, Y.-D. (2014). Cultural events and cultural tourism development: Lessons from the European Capitals of Culture. European Planning Studies, 22(3), 498–514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Madden, C. (2001). Using ‘economic’ impact studies in arts and cultural advocacy: A cautionary note. Media International Australia Incorporating Culture and Policy, 98, 161–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Markusen, A., & Gadwa, A. (2010). Arts and culture in urban or regional planning: A review and research agenda. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 29(3), 379–391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. McMaster, B. (2008). Supporting excellence in the arts: From measurement to judgement. London: DCMS.Google Scholar
  83. Media and Arts Partnership. (2008). Housing Market Renewal. Retrieved from
  84. Miles, S., & Paddison, R. (2005). Introduction: The rise and rise of culture-led urban regeneration. Urban Studies, 42(5–6), 833–839.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Miller, M. (2013, June 20). I argued for the arts—And won. We will keep the philistines from the gates. The Guardian. Retrieved from
  86. New Economy. (2013). Beyond the arts: Economic and wider impacts of the Lowry and its programmes. Retrieved from
  87. Newsinger, J., & Green, W. (2016). The infrapolitics of cultural value: Cultural policy, evaluation and the marginalisation of practitioner perspectives. Journal of Cultural Economy, 9(4), 382–395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. NFASP. (2010). Developing affordable artists’ studios in a Housing Market Renewal area. Retrieved from
  89. Oakley, K. (2008). Any answer as long as it’s right: Evidence-based cultural policymaking. In L. Andersen & K. Oakley (Eds.), Making meaning, making money (pp. 18–41). Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars.Google Scholar
  90. Oakley, K. (2009). The disappearing arts: Creativity and innovation after the creative industries. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 15(4), 403–413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Oakley, K., O’Brien, D., & Lee, D. (2013). Happy now? Well-being and cultural policy. Philosophy and Public Policy Quarterly, 31(2), 18–26.Google Scholar
  92. O’Brien, D. (2014). Cultural policy: Management, value and modernity in the creative industries. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  93. O’Connor, J. (2007). The cultural and creative industries: A review of the literature. London: Arts Council England.Google Scholar
  94. Oman, S., & Taylor, M. (2018). Subjective well-being in cultural advocacy: A politics of research between the market and the academy. Journal of Cultural Economy, 11(3), 225–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Peck, J. (2002). Political economies of scale: Fast policy, interscalar relations, and neoliberal workfare. Economic Geography, 78(3), 331–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Pendle Borough Council. (2014). Housing Market Renewal. Retrieved from
  97. Plaza, B. (2006). The return on investment of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 30(2), 452–567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Plaza, B., Tironi, M., & Haarich, S. (2009). Bilbao’s art scene and the “Guggenheim effect” revisited. European Planning Studies, 17(11), 1711–1729.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Pratt, A. C. (2008). Creative cities: The cultural industries and the creative class. Geografiska Annaler: Series B, human geography, 90(2), 107–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. Public Art Leicester. (2005). Cultural mapping public art programme Leicester. Retrieved from
  101. Reeves, M. (2002). Measuring the economic and social impact of the arts: A review. London: Arts Council England.Google Scholar
  102. Rekdal, O. B. (2014). Academic urban legends. Social Studies of Science, 44(4), 638–654.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. Richards, G. (2011). Creativity and tourism: The state of the art. Annals of Tourism Research, 38(4), 1225–1253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  104. Roger Tym & Partners. (2011). Economic impact of the Liverpool Arts Regeneration Consortium. Retrieved from
  105. Rushton, M. (2015). On the return to public investments in Museums. Retrieved from
  106. Schuster, J. M. (1996). The performance of performance indicators in the arts. Nonprofit Management & Leadership, 7(3), 253–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  107. Schutz, A. (1960). The social world and the theory of social action. Social Research, 27(2), 203–221.Google Scholar
  108. Selwood, S. (2006). A part to play? The academic contribution to the development of cultural policy in England. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 12(1), 35–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  109. Sharp, J. (2007). The life and death of five spaces: Public art and community regeneration in Glasgow. Cultural Geographies, 14(2), 274–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  110. Shin, H., & Stevens, Q. (2013). How culture and economy meet in South Korea: The politics of cultural economy in culture-led urban regeneration. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 37(5), 1707–1723.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  111. Stevenson, D. (2004). “Civic gold” rush—Cultural planning and the politics of the third way. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 10(1), 119–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  112. Taylor, P., Davies, L., Wells, P., Gilbertson, J., & Tayleur, W. (2015). A review of the social impacts of culture and sport. Retrieved from
  113. The Economist. (2012). Art the conqueror. Retrieved from
  114. THRU. (2013). Townscape heritage initiative schemes evaluation—Ten year review report. Oxford: Townscape Heritage Research Unit, Oxford Brookes University.Google Scholar
  115. Tyler, P., Warnock, C., Provins, A., Wells, P., Brennan, A., Cole, I., …, Phang, Z. (2010). Valuing the benefits of regeneration. Retrieved from
  116. Van Heur, B. (2010). Small cities and the geographical bias of creative industries research and policy. Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events, 2(2), 189–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  117. Vickery, J. (2007). The emergence of culture-led regeneration: A policy concept and its discontents. Warwick: Centre for Cultural Policy Studies.Google Scholar
  118. Warren, S., & Jones, P. (2015). Local governance, disadvantaged communities and cultural intermediation in the creative urban economy. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 33(6), 1738–1752.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  119. What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth. (2014). Evidence review 3: Sports and culture. Retrieved from

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK

Personalised recommendations