Professor Kate Oakley
Professor of Cultural Policy. Director of Research and Innovation.
0113 343 5810
Clothworkers' Building North, 1.09
BA (Newcastle), PhD (City)
Kate Oakley is Professor of Cultural Policy and Director of Research at the School of Media and Communication, University of Leeds. She was previously Head of the Centre for Cultural Policy and Management at City University and a Visiting Professor at the University of the Arts.
Kate Oakley is Professor of Cultural Policy and Director of Research at the School of Media and Communication, University of Leeds. She was previously Head of the Centre for Cultural Policy and Management at City University, London and a Visiting Professor at the University of the Arts London.
Her research interests include the politics of cultural policy, work in the cultural industries, and regional development. She came into academia following careers as a journalist, market researcher and civil servant and for 15 years she ran a successful consultancy and research business in the cultural sectors. Her portfolio of projects included: work on cultural and creative industry strategies; work on the social impacts of culture and the arts; work on skills and employment in the cultural industries and cultural policy advice at a variety of spatial levels.
Recent books include Cultural Policy with David Bell (Routledge, 2015) and Culture, Economy and Politics: the case of New Labour, with David Hesmondhalgh, David Lee and Melissa Nisbett (Palgrave, 2015). She is currently researching the role of arts and culture in sustainable prosperity as part of the CUSP Project (http://www.cusp.ac.uk/).
Politics of cultural and media policy
Cultural labour and labour markets
Worker organization in the cultural industries
Cultural industries and place: cities, regions and neighbourhoods
Culture and creative industries
I teach the core module, ‘Media Production Analysis’ on the MA in Media Industries.
Director of Research
(2015) Culture, Economy and Politics: The Case of New Labour. New Directions in Cultural Policy. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
(2014) Cultural Policy.
(2008) Making meaning, making money. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
(2016) “Learning to labour unequally: understanding the relationship between cultural production, cultural consumption and inequality”, Social Identities. : 1-16. (Accepted)
DOI: 10.1080/13504630.2015.1128800, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/92581/
(2015) “The dance goes on forever? Art schools, class and UK higher education”, International Journal of Cultural Policy. (Accepted)
DOI: 10.1080/10286632.2015.1101082, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/84297/
(2015) “Were New Labour’s cultural policies neo-liberal?”, International Journal of Cultural Policy. 21.1: 97-114.
(2013) “Happy Now? well-being and cultural policy”, Philosophy and Public Policy Quarterly. 31.2: 17-25.
Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/76878/
(2011) “'The public gets what the public wants'? The uses and abuses of 'public value' in contemporary British cultural policy”, INT J CULT POLICY. 17.3: 289-300.
(2011) “The Public Gets What the Public Wants? The Uses and Abuses of ‘Public Value’ in Contemporary British Cultural Policy.”, The International Journal of Cultural Policy. 17.3: 289-300.
(2011) “In its own image: New Labour and the Cultural Workforce”, Cultural Trends. 20.3-4: 281-289.
(2009) “From Bohemia to Britart – Art Students over 50 years.”, Cultural Trends. 18.4: 281+.
(2009) “The disappearing arts – creativity and innovation after the creative industries”, The International Journal of Cultural Policy. 15.4: 403+.
(2008) “The Art of Education: New competences for the creative workforce”, Media International Australia Incorporating Culture and Policy: quarterly journal of media research and resources. 128
(2006) “Include us out - economic development and social policy in the creative industries”, Cultural Trends. 14.4: 283-302.
(2004) “Not so Cool Britannia, The Role of Creative Industries in Economic Development”, International Journal of Cultural Studies. 7.5-7: 67+.
(1995) “Professionals and the New Knowledge Workers”, Policy Studies. 16.1
(1994) “How Organisations Learn to Learn – The Need for Consultancies to adopt a brains approach”, Journal of Management Consulting. 8.2
(1993) “Consultancies, Agents of organisational development”, Leadership and Organisational Development Journal. 14.5
(2015) “Uk art workers, class, and the myth of mobility”, In: The Routledge Companion to Labor and Media. 170-179
(2015) “Culture and the city”, In: Oakley K; O'Connor J (eds.) The Routledge Companion to the Cultural Industries.
(2014) “Good work? Rethinking cultural entrepreneurship”, In: Bilton C; Cummings S (eds.) Handbook of Management and Creativity. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. 145-160
Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/78872/
(2013) “Making Workers: Higher Education and the Cultural Industries Workplace”, In: Ashton D; Noonan C (eds.) Cultural Work and Higher Education. Palgrave Macmillan. 25-44
Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/76511/
(2013) “Absentee workers: representation and participation in the cultural industries”, In: Banks M; Taylor S; Gill R (eds.) Theorizing Cultural Work. Labour, Continuity and Change in the Cultural Industries. CRESC. London: Routledge. 56-67
Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/75864/
(2012) “Not the new, new thing: innovation and cultural policy in the EU”, In: Elam I (eds.) Artists and the Arts Industries. Stockholm: Konstnarsnamnden: The Swedish Arts Grants Committee. 56-66
(2012) “Rich but divided...the politics of cultural policy in London”, In: Anheier H; Isar YR (eds.) Cities, Cultural Policy and Governance. The Cultures and Globalisation series. Sage. 204-212
(2011) “Good enough jobs and good enough workers”, In: Wright S; Holden J; Keiffer J; Newbigin J (eds.) Creativity, Money, Love. London: Creative and Cultural Skills.
(2008) “Making meaning, making money”, In: Andersen L; Oakley K (eds.) Making meaning, making money. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
(2008) “Citizenship in the Information Society”, In: Cunha MA; Frey K; Duarte F (eds.) Governança local e as tecnologias de informação e comunicação. Curitiba: Champagnat. 149-157
(2008) “Any answer as long as it’s right: evidence-based cultural policymaking”, In: Oakley K; Andersen L (eds.) Making Meaning Making Money: directions for the arts and cultural industries in The Creative Age. Newcastle on Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press.
(2003) “Local Knowledge, The Development of Policy as a Shared Narrative”, In: Bentley T; Wilsdon J (eds.) The Adaptive State. London: Demos.
“A different class: politics and culture in London”, In: Grodach C (eds.) The Politics of Urban Cultural Policy: Global Perspectives. Routledge.
“The Real Deal Project, Young People as Policy Consultants”, In: Clarke J; Dyson A; Meagher N; Robson E; Wootten M (eds.) Young People As Researchers: Possibilities, Problems, and Politics. Youth, Citizenship and Social Change. Youth Work Press.
(2015) Creating Space: A re-evaluation of the role of culture in regeneration.
Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/88559/
(2010) Brick Lane: Community-driven innovation?. London:
(2010) Conversations and Collaborations: The Leadership of Collaborative Projects between Higher Education and the Arts and Cultural Sector. London:
(2009) The Skills Paradox. London: Demos.
(2009) Art Works. London:
(2008) The Art of Innovation.
(2007) The Cultural Competitiveness of London. London: London Development Agency.
(2007) Educating for the Creative Workforce: Rethinking Arts and Education. Australia Council for the Arts.
(2007) London’s Creative Economy: An Accidental Success?. London: Work Foundation.
(2007) Better than working for a living? Skills and Labour in the Festivals Economy. London: City University London.
(2005) New Directions in Social Policy, Developing the Evidence Base for Museums, Libraries and Archives in England. London: Museums and Libraries Archive.
Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/76509/
(2004) Developing the Evidence Base for support of cultural and creative activities in South East England. South East England Cultural Consortium.
(2004) Queensland Music Industry Trends: Independence Day?. Queensland University of Technology.
(2003) Highway to democr@cy: The Council of Europe and the Information Society’. Council of Europe.
(2001) Surfing the Long Wave, Knowledge Entrepreneurship in Britain. London: Demos.
(1999) The Independents. London: Demos.
(1999) The Real Deal. What young people really think about government, politics and social exclusion. Demos.
Assessment of the Social Impact of Participation in HLF funded projects. London:
Spin-offs and start-ups in UK Universities. Universities UK.
Research Projects & Grants
I am currently working on a five year ESRC research project, the Centre for Understanding Sustainable Prosperity (www.cusp.ac.uk). The Centre, which is highly inter-disciplinary, has a work programme organised around five core themes: meaning and moral framings of the good life; the role of the arts and culture in developing visions of prosperity; political and organisational dimensions of sustainable prosperity; social and psychological understandings of the good life and systems analysis to explore narratives of sustainable prosperity.
Together with a fully-funded PDRA (plus two PhD studentships), I am directing the arts and culture theme of the project. Working in Stoke on Trent, North London and mid-Wales, our theme has two key research questions. The first is a focus on ‘culture and the good life,’ the role of arts and culture in communicating, not just living less materially, but living better. The second is ‘culture and good work,’ which looks in detail at localised cultural economies and at cultural labour. It interrogates the geography of the local cultural economy, its networks and the organisational forms that people adopt in order to negotiate the precarious nature of cultural work.
This project builds on long-standing interests of mine in the relationship between culture and place and in cultural labour. This is the subject of my recent AHRC network, ‘Improving Cultural Work’, which I have been running together with Dr Bridget Conor from Kings College London and the SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) grant, ‘Pathways beyond precarity in the cultural and creative industries: sustainable livelihoods and cultures of solidarity’ with Greig de Peter, Enda Brophy and Nicole Cohen.
Research Centres & Groups
Cultural Production and Media Policy
Centre for Understanding Sustainable Prosperity (www.cusp.ac.uk)
PhD & Postdoctoral Supervision
Currently supervising students working on creative cities in China, ethical consumption, film policy and soft power and the videogames sector in Poland. I am interested in working with students on any aspect of cultural labour.
Under my supervision are: