From ‘no cultural policy’ to ‘centralised market orientation’: The political economy of Hong Kong cultural policy (1997–2015)

Louis K C HO*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines changes in the cultural policy in Hong Kong amid the transformations of political economy in the 1990s, following the handover in 1997, and under the administration of three Chief Executives (and their teams) up to 2015. When reviewing the literature on cultural policies in Hong Kong, this study examines the interaction the policies have with the political-economic development in Hong Kong (within the scope of this study) and subsequently explores changes in the principles of the policies. In other words, this study attempts to understand the conditions under which cultural policies were formulated in Hong Kong (the conditions of the production of local culture). The analytical framework of this study is based on two observations of the political and social changes occurring in Hong Kong (1997–2015): (1) changes in the government’s governance attitude since the handover in 1997, and (2) a series of economic blows Hong Kong has endured since 1998. Differing from the ‘descriptive literature’ defined by Schuster, this study understands that these changes are a result of the influence of a postcolonial state and neo-liberalism on public policy formulation. It is argued that the Hong Kong cultural policy framework has shifted from checks-and-balances towards centralised market orientation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-73
Number of pages17
JournalGlobal Media and China
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication
  • Cultural Studies

User-Defined Keywords

  • Cultural governance
  • cultural policy
  • Hong Kong
  • public policy


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