This article can be found in the current issue of the Journal of Urban Affairs regarding Cities, Networks, and Urban Policy.
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Which scale matters? Rethinking cultural industry development policies from a city network perspective, by Xu Zhang & Kunlun Chen
Current policy interventions in cultural industries tend to be highly localized and dominated by a cluster agenda. This article provides a critical evaluation of cultural industry development policies from a city network perspective based on the case of China. Drawing on quantitative data sources, we first conduct a systematic investigation into the geographical distribution of 252 publicly listed cultural firms within mainland China as well as the organization of their city-based buyer–supplier relationships across multiple spatial scales. Based on this empirical work, we then discuss whether cultural industry clusters could be a viable policy instrument for different cities and which spatial scale(s) should be taken into consideration while implementing cultural industry development programs. Our study generates a more comprehensive understanding of the functioning of local clusters and translocal networks in the operation of cultural industry firms and provides some implications for the formulation of urban cultural policies and planning schemes.