Panel: Culture & Entertainment

Over the past years, technological breakthroughs changed the ways we produce and consume a variety of intellectual goods, such as books, movies, and music. The global streaming market has be growing exponentially as the number of subscription to digital services and virtual pay TVs have increased throughout most regions. The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated this process insofar as measures of social distancing and lockdowns encouraged people to consume more cultural goods at home. 

The growth of the creative industries and the impacts of new technologies raise several questions on the role of transnational corporations in fostering the cultural development of local communities. Albeit difficult to measure, the impacts of the creative industries on economic development are undeniable. Creative sectors, such as audio-visual industry and book market, create jobs and generate intellectual property assets. Furthermore, cultural activities also helps to foster tourism and other economic sectors by attracting a larger audience. In addition to these revenues, culture is related to the so-called "soft power", which refers to mechanisms of influence by non-coercive means. In this sense, movies and other cultural goods are means to promote lifestyles related to certain national realities. Therefore, the activities of cultural industries are related to both economic and symbolic powers. 

Not surprisingly, certain countries have established policies to foster their domestic cultural industries, such as screen quotas, which refer to a minimum number of national films to be exhibited in theatres and other vehicles. Formerly isolated, the Asia-Pacific region has been occupying more and more space in the global cultural market. South Korea is a leading case about how years of cultural policies resulted in the promotion of a national culture. Nonetheless, the digital environment certainly poses more challenges to governments' efforts in fostering local industries considering that o a certain extent the virtual reality breaks down geographic boundaries. 

This panel seeks to discuss the potentials and limits of transnational corporations working in multiple cultural sectors. It will cover topics such as (but not limited to): 

  1. The role of transnational corporations in making cultural goods available in national communities;
  2. The impacts of the digital environment on the production and distribution of cultural goods;
  3. The disputes over market regulations and policies regarding the protection of creative industries in the Asia-Pacific region; 
  4. The relationship between culture and intellectual property in a transboundary world.

Is the balance of power changing with the rise of former peripheric regions as new centers of cultural production and consumption? What are the impacts of this phenomenon on international politics? How have digital technologies shifted the dynamics of production, distribution, and consumption? What is the role of transnational corporations in this context? This panel aims to approach these questions through the debate of empirical and theoretical studies with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region or a comparative approach.


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