Evaluating Welsh Cultural Policy with reference to Sino-Welsh Exchanges

This research project is in competition for funding with one or more projects available across the ESRC Wales (DTP). Usually the projects which receive the best applicants will be awarded the funding. Find out more information about the DTP and how to apply.

Application deadline: 4 February 2018

Start date: October 2018


The 2005 UNESCO Convention on cultural diversity outlines the legal framework for the promotion of cultural exchanges. Its goals are: to create sustainable systems of government for culture; achieve balanced flow of cultural goods; increase artistic mobility; and integrate culture into a sustainable development framework.

The UK ratified this convention in 2007 and the devolved nations established structures and policies for its implementation. Wales has been particularly keen to target cultural exchanges with one of the world’s largest emerging markets, China. In 2015, Wales signed the first China-Wales Memorandum of Understanding promoting cultural exchanges. As yet, no research has been undertaken on how Wales has promoted cultural exchanges overseas or, more specifically, on how Wales’ cultural exchanges with China relate to the UNESCO Convention.

Project aims and methods

This research evaluates Welsh cultural policy since the 2005 UNESCO Convention, with particular reference to Sino-Welsh exchanges. While the focus of this project will be on Wales, an effort will be made to look for good practice elsewhere, in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and to use this to recommend more effective ways of promoting Wales’ sustainable exchanges with China.

Research Questions

  • How far has the Welsh government adhered to the UNESCO Convention?
  • How successful has Welsh cultural policy been in socio-cultural and economic terms, specifically in the context of exchanges with China?
  • How far can policy successes or failures be explained in terms of the Welsh approach to cultural policy? How far are they linked to China’s reaction to Welsh cultural goods and its own approach to the Convention?
  • What lessons can be learned for Welsh cultural exchanges in China and elsewhere? And how does the Welsh case help our understanding of the strengths/ shortcomings of the Convention itself?

This studentship also involves a three-month the Arts Council of Wales and mentorship from within the Arts Council of Wales.


Haili Ma

Dr Haili Ma

Senior Lecturer in Chinese and Dean of the Beijing Normal-Cardiff Chinese College

+44 (0)29 2068 8868

Professor Sergey Radchenko

Professor of International Relations

+44 (0)29 2088 8821

Programme information

For programme structure, entry requirements and how to apply, visit the Politics and International Relations programme.

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