Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award

Spring 2009

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Political Science


It is a consensus that culture industry is assuming a more important economic development function in most countries of the world today. As a result of this consensus, the purpose of this paper is to investigate, through a comparative analysis, how China can improve its existing public policies to nurture an environment where culture industry develops and prospers. The paper focuses its discussion on the difference between China and the United States with emphasis on each country’s efforts in funding culture industry in order to participate in the global competition among different culture industries.

In the middle of the twentieth century, culture industry, as represented by Disney World, Madison Avenue and Hollywood, originated in the United States (Meštrović, 1992). Since the 1990s, the United States has benefited financially from its culture industry as it has turned out to be one of the most vigorous profit-making sectors in the American economy. The fact that the United States has turned from a cultural resource-scarce nation into a cultural resource-affluent giant not only points to a fundamental evolution in the global political patterns and expansion of economic integration, but it also leaves much food for thought in its own cultural development. What is more significant is that in recent years, the United States cultural products have topped the export list of its commercial goods and services. Its culture industry has commanded an overwhelming global dominance, and this is attributed to the excellent role the United States government has played in adopting promotional policies.

Today, culture industry in China has started to play an important role in the development of socialist-based market economy, boosted by the new information technology, to become one of the most powerful sectors in the development of the Chinese economy. Nonetheless, it is still necessary to develop China’s culture industry in a way that it is well-positioned to participate in a new round of global economic and cultural competition following its access to the World Trade Organization. Currently, the development of China’s culture industry has constituted one of the crucial links to sustain its reform measures to establish a comprehensive market-based economic system and to bring both strategic and structural changes in its national economy. The paper concludes that whereas China cannot completely follow the United States’ promotional policies, it should adopt a “middle of the road” approach between the Chinese model and the American model as an appropriate choice.