The Poetics and Politics of the European Capital of Culture Project

Can-Seng Ooi, Lars Håkanson, Laura LaCava

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


    The European Capital of Culture (ECoC) project was designed to promote European identity and integration. Hosting cities have since carried a variety of visions and objectives, ranging from the improvement of material infrastructure and urban revitalization, over the enhancement of cultural life to the alleviation of poverty through increasing employment, and the attraction of more tourists. This variety of hopes is repeatedly articulated, as cities compete to become the next ECoC. Being an ECoC is seen to offer invaluable marketing opportunities to improve the city and its image. This paper situates the ECoC programme both within and beyond its marketing functions. We review a range of ECoC documents, reports and academic publications with two broad foci. The first deals with the ‘poetics’ of ECoC, that is, the presentation of ECoC in an attractive manner to win local support and attract outside attention. The second is on the ‘politics’, the grubby business of seeking legitimacy, mobilizing community support and managing local dissatisfaction. The review shows a remarkable lack of consensus as to how successful past ECoC tenures were, partly reflecting profound disagreement as to the appropriate methods and criteria for such evaluations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2013
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    EventThe 2nd International Conference on Strategic Innovative Marketing 2013 - Orea Hotel , Prague, Czech Republic
    Duration: 13 Sept 201317 Sept 2013
    Conference number: 2


    ConferenceThe 2nd International Conference on Strategic Innovative Marketing 2013
    LocationOrea Hotel
    Country/TerritoryCzech Republic
    Internet address

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