Policy transfer as policy assemblage: Making policy for the creative industries in New Zealand

  • Prince R
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The study of policy transfer appeals to geography and cognate disciplines because it offers a powerful way of conceptualising how policy regimes travel and internationalise. This is reflected in its use for understanding uneven processes of recent state restructuring, usually referred to as neoliberalisation. In this paper I adopt an assemblage perspective on policy transfer that, instead of emphasising broad processes of change, focuses on how the objects of a transferred policy are constituted in different places. Using the case of the transfer of the creative industries policy concept from the UK to New Zealand as an example, I argue that the rendering of policy objects using, in this case, specific calculative techniques constitutes them as a global form universal to different places. However, this process does not run smoothly; it requires that the policy object is articulated in a policy assemblage in the new site. The work of assembly requires a range of different kinds of work, including the alignment of divergent political motivations, the translation of different ideas, and the invention of new concepts and programmes. This demonstrates how policy transfer is political and technical, and that its study can benefit from analyses that traverse both these aspects.

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  • Russell Prince

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