Creative economy policy in developing countries: The case of Indonesia

Fikri Zul Fahmi*, Philip McCann, Sierdjan Koster

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)
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This paper investigates how the creative economy discourse is interpreted and implemented in the context of Indonesia as a developing country. Our main conclusion is that the discourse is interpreted differently across localities. Bandung appears to be the only locality whose interpretation aligns with the general understanding of a creative economy that emphasises knowledge creation and innovation. This was made possible by the strong support from academia and communities who wanted to experiment with this policy idea. Our study also provides an insight into a creative economy developing not only as a discourse, but also as a workable framework for development policies, in this city. Conversely, other cities seem to pragmatically use the policy idea without considering the local context in a rebranding exercise in order to drive economic development, whereby traditional cultural industries are relabelled as creative despite performing hardly any innovation activities. Despite this, Bandung illustrates that there are possibilities for a developing country such as Indonesia to adopt the vision of a creative economy by reshaping local institutions to support successful experimentation with this new idea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1367-1384
Number of pages18
JournalUrban Studies
Issue number6
Early online date15-Dec-2015
Publication statusPublished - May-2017


  • creative economy
  • creative industries
  • cultural economy
  • discourse
  • economic development
  • governance
  • Indonesia

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