Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Going with the Flow: Neoliberalism and Cultural Policy in Manitoba and Saskatchewan

By M. Sharon Jeannotte
University of Ottawa
Canadian Journal of Communication Vol 35 (2010) 303-324

This article examines the impact that the neoliberal “tide” of the 1980s and 1990s has had on cultural policies in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. It analyzes these developments in the context of the dominant political ideology that preceded neoliberalism in these provinces—social democracy. In Manitoba neoliberalism has been tempered by tensions between the centre and the hinterland, while in Saskatchewan it has been mitigated by tensions between the professional and community-based cultural organizations. Decisionmakers
have “gone with the neoliberal flow” in some respects, but have had to balance this with the traditional forces that have shaped cultural policy during the past 50 years.


One of the favourite nostrums of the neoliberal movement is that “a rising tide floats all boats”—in other words, that privatization, deregulation, lower taxation, lower inflation, free trade, and cuts to the Keynesian welfare state will yield economic benefits for everyone in a society. the ideological “tide” of neoliberalism that has swept over most of the developed world in the past two decades has had a profound impact on public policies, even if the effects of “trickle down” economics remain in dispute.1 Most jurisdictions have made significant changes to their administrative machinery to accommodate this ideological shift, including increased use of public/private partnerships, more support for measures intended to harness market forces, more contracting out of government services, and more emphasis on self-help instead of reliance on government services.

Read more HERE. (pdf)

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