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The Cultures of Capitalism: Glasgow and the Monopoly of Culture

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While many have recognized since the 1970s the strong relationship between culture and urban renewal, particularly as cities began to use cultural amenities to change their images and lure potential investors, little has been written about how and why cultural assets may be valued investments in their own right. There is at least one notable exception, in the work of David Harvey, and this approach takes as its starting point the importance of the monopoly aspects of culture, particularly for rents, competition and fixed capital. In part, I bring Harvey's theoretical insights on the political economy of culture to bear on the case of Glasgow, Scotland, in the 1980s, and particularly its nomination as the European City of Culture, with particular attention paid to how the economics of culture is related to local politics.

Keywords: Glasgow; culture; monopoly rent; neoliberalism; urban renewal

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography and the Environment, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA;, Email:

Publication date: January 1, 2009


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