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Dr Dave O'Brien

Staff details

PositionSenior Lecturer
Email D.OBrien (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone+44 (0)20 77173238

Dave O'Brien is a senior lecturer in cultural policy. He is also the host of the new books in critical theory podcast and writes regularly for a variety of media outlets. Follow him on twitter @drdaveobrien

His research currently covers five areas: cultural policy, urban policy, public administration, cultural value, and creative industries. These themes are captured by a range of recent and on-going projects, including: the role of cultural intermediaries in the creative economy; the impact of visual arts on people living with dementia; a literature review of cultural value and inequality; a social network analysis of early career artists; social mobility and class in the acting profession; comparative evaluation techniques; urban regeneration; and the experiences of early career researchers.

Academic qualifications 

  • 2005-2009 PhD, Sociology, University of Liverpool
  • 2001-2002 MA, Philosophy, University of Liverpool
  • 1998-2001 BA (Hons) Modern History and Politics, University of Liverpool

Teaching

Dr O’Brien was lecturer at Leeds Metropolitan University and at City University London, teaching a range of modules and courses on Cultural Policy and Creative Industries. During his PhD he taught sociology, politics and public administration modules at the Universities of Liverpool and Bangor, and at Liverpool John Moores University.

Areas of supervision

Dr O’Brien currently supervising students working on public art in East London; Urban cultural policy in Venezuela; and the stratification of cultural consumption in Ireland. I welcome enquires in any area of my expertise.

Professional activities

Dr O’Brien is a member of the AHRC and ESRC peer review colleges and was recently a member of the steering group for the AHRC Cultural Value project. 

Featured work 

  • Oakley, K. and O’Brien, D. (in press 2016) ‘“Learning to labour unequally: Understanding the relationship between cultural production, cultural consumption and inequality” Social Identities
  • O’Brien, D., Laurison, D., Friedman, S., Miles, A. (in press 2016) ‘Are the Creative Industries Meritocratic?’ Cultural Trends
  • Friedman, S., O’Brien, D. and Laurison, D. (in press 2016) ‘How Class Origin Shapes Occupational Trajectories in British Acting, or ‘Like Skydiving without a Parachute’ Sociology
  • O’Brien, D. (in press, 2016) “What price evidence? Identities, valuation technologies and the problem of ‘culture’” Journal of Cultural Economy
  • Matthews P. and O’Brien. D. (eds) (2015) After Urban Regeneration Bristol: Policy Press 

Media appearances, grants and awards

  • 2014 AHRC Cultural Value: ‘Cultural Value and Inequality: Literature Review’.
  • 2014 AHRC Connected Communities Follow On Fund: Principal investigator ‘Connecting Epistemologies in early career research
  • 2013-2016 AHRC Connected Communities Scheme: Co-investigator, Dementia and Imagination (Dr. Gill Windle, Bangor University, principal investigator).
  • 2012-2016 AHRC Connected Communities scheme: Co-investigator, Cultural Intermediaries in the creative economy. (Dr. Phil Jones, University of Birmingham, principal investigator).
  • 2010 AHRC/ESRC Placement Fellowship: ‘Measuring Cultural Value’ placement at the UK government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Research Interests

My research currently covers five areas: cultural policy, urban policy, public administration, cultural value, and creative industries. These themes are captured by a range of recent and on-going projects, including: the role of cultural intermediaries in the creative economy; the impact of visual arts on people living with dementia; a literature review of cultural value and inequality; a social network analysis of early career artists; social mobility and class in the acting profession; comparative evaluation techniques; urban regeneration; and the experiences of early career researchers.

Publications

Book

How Government Works
O'Brien, David. 2015. How Government Works. Palgrave.

Cultural Policy: management, value and modernity in the Creative Industries
O'Brien, David. 2014. Cultural Policy: management, value and modernity in the Creative Industries. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0415817608

Edited Book

The Routledge Companion to Cultural Policy
Durrer, Victoria; Miller, Toby and O'Brien, David, eds. 2016. The Routledge Companion to Cultural Policy. UNSPECIFIED.

Routledge Major Works Collection: Cultural Policy
Oakley, Kate and O'Brien, David, eds. 2016. Routledge Major Works Collection: Cultural Policy. UNSPECIFIED.

After Urban Regeneration: Communities, Policy and Place
O'Brien, David and Matthews, Peter, eds. 2015. After Urban Regeneration: Communities, Policy and Place. Bristol: Policy Press. ISBN 978-1447324164

Edited Journal

Cultural Trends
O'Brien, David, ed. 2015. Cultural Trends.

Special Issue: CASE: THE CULTURE AND SPORT EVIDENCE PROGRAMME
O'Brien, David, ed. 2012. Special Issue: CASE: THE CULTURE AND SPORT EVIDENCE PROGRAMME.

Book Section

'Connecting community to the post-regeneration era'
O'Brien, David and Matthews, Peter. 2015. 'Connecting community to the post-regeneration era'. In: David O'Brien and Peter Matthews, eds. After Urban Regeneration: Communities, Policy and Place. Bristol: Policy Press. ISBN 978-1447324164

‘The social life of cultural value’
O'Brien, David and Lockley, P. 2015. ‘The social life of cultural value’. In: Lachlan MacDowall; Marnie Badham; Emma Blomkamp and Kim Dunphy, eds. Making Culture Count: The Politics of Cultural Measurement. London: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1137464576

Business as usual, The UK and Cultural Industries as industrial policy
O'Brien, David. 2015. Business as usual, The UK and Cultural Industries as industrial policy. In: Kate Oakley and Justin O'Connor, eds. Routledge Companion to the Cultural Industries. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0415706209

‘Evaluation, Photography and Intermediation: Connecting Birmingham’s communities.’
O'Brien, David. 2015. ‘Evaluation, Photography and Intermediation: Connecting Birmingham’s communities.’. In: Saskia Warren and Phil Jones, eds. Creative economies, creative communities: Rethinking place, policy and practice. London: Ashgate Pub Co. ISBN 978-1472451378

"Creativity and copyright: the international career of a new economy"
O'Brien, David. 2014. "Creativity and copyright: the international career of a new economy". In: Matthew David and Deborah Halbert, eds. The Sage Handbook of Intellectual Property. London: SAGE, pp. 315-329. ISBN 978-1446266342

‘Arts Promotion’
O'Brien, David and Durrer, Victoria. 2014. ‘Arts Promotion’. In: Jennifer McGuire and Julian Matthews, eds. The Cultural Intermediaries Reader. London: SAGE, pp. 100-112. ISBN 978-1446201336

‘Public Value: Prospects and Perspectives from the UK’
O'Brien, David. 2013. ‘Public Value: Prospects and Perspectives from the UK’. In: Carol Scott, ed. Museums and public value. London: Ashgate, pp. 145-158. ISBN 978-1409446439

Article

“What price evidence? Identities, valuation technologies and the problem of ‘culture’”
O'Brien, David. 2015. “What price evidence? Identities, valuation technologies and the problem of ‘culture’”. Journal of Cultural Economy, ISSN 1753-0350

‘Cultural Value, measurement and policy making’
O'Brien, David. 2014. ‘Cultural Value, measurement and policy making’. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 14(1), pp. 79-94. ISSN 1474-0222

‘Understanding the impact of visual arts interventions for people living with dementia: a realist review protocol.’
O'Brien, David; Windle, Gill; Gregrory, Samantha; Newman, Andrew; Goulding, Anna and Parkinson, Clive. 2014. ‘Understanding the impact of visual arts interventions for people living with dementia: a realist review protocol.’. Systematic Reviews, 3(91), ISSN 2046-4053

'Shaping cultural policy around practical utopianism'
O'Brien, David. 2013. 'Shaping cultural policy around practical utopianism'. Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events, 5(1), pp. 105-108. ISSN 1940-7963

'The Culture and Sport Evidence Programme: New forms of evidence and new questions for cultural policy'
O'Brien, David. 2012. 'The Culture and Sport Evidence Programme: New forms of evidence and new questions for cultural policy'. Cultural Trends, 21(4), pp. 275-280. ISSN 0954-8963

‘Drowning the deadweight in the rhetoric of economism: what free swimming tells us about public services’
O'Brien, David. 2012. ‘Drowning the deadweight in the rhetoric of economism: what free swimming tells us about public services’. Public Administration, 91(1), pp. 69-82. ISSN 0033-3298

‘The “Scouse Wedding” and other myths and legends: Reflections on the evolution of a “Liverpool model” for culture-led regeneration’
O'Brien, David and Cox, Tamsin. 2012. ‘The “Scouse Wedding” and other myths and legends: Reflections on the evolution of a “Liverpool model” for culture-led regeneration’. Cultural Trends, 21(2), pp. 93-101. ISSN 0954-8963

‘Happy now? Wellbeing and cultural policy’
O'Brien, David; Oakley, Kate and Lee, David. 2012. ‘Happy now? Wellbeing and cultural policy’. Philosophy and Public Policy Quarterly, 31(2), pp. 17-25.

Who is in charge? Liverpool, European Capital of Culture 2008 and the governance of cultural planning
O'Brien, David. 2011. Who is in charge? Liverpool, European Capital of Culture 2008 and the governance of cultural planning. Town Planning Review, 82(1), pp. 45-59. ISSN 0041-0020

‘No cultural policy to speak of': Liverpool 2008
O'Brien, David. 2010. ‘No cultural policy to speak of': Liverpool 2008. Journal of policy research in tourism, leisure and events, 2(2), pp. 113-128. ISSN 1940-7963

‘Cultural policy as rhetoric and reality: a comparative analysis of policy-making in the peripheral north’
O'Brien, David and Miles, Steven. 2010. ‘Cultural policy as rhetoric and reality: a comparative analysis of policy-making in the peripheral north’. Cultural Trends, 19(1-2), pp. 3-13. ISSN 0954-8963

‘Governing culture: legislators, interpreters and accountants'
O'Brien, David and Donovan, C. ‘Governing culture: legislators, interpreters and accountants'. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, ISSN 1045-2354

Report

Cultural value and inequality: a literature review
O'Brien, David and Oakley, Kate. 2015. Cultural value and inequality: a literature review. Technical Report. Arts and Humanities Research Council, Swindon.

Connecting Epistemologies
O'Brien, David; Graham, Helen; Hill, Katie; Matthews, Peter and Taylor, Mark. 2014. Connecting Epistemologies. Project Report. Arts and Humanities Research Council.

European Capitals of Culture: Success Strategies and Long Term Effects
O'Brien, David; Garcia, B; Cox, T; Allam, M; Campbell, P; Cogliandro, G; Crone, S; Langden, F and Nuere, C. 2013. European Capitals of Culture: Success Strategies and Long Term Effects. Technical Report. UNSPECIFIED, Brussels.

‘Its not the winning’ The Cultural Cities Network final report
O'Brien, David and Wilson, Kerry. 2012. ‘Its not the winning’ The Cultural Cities Network final report. Technical Report. Arts and Humanities Research Council, Liverpool.

Liverpool on the map again’ Liverpool stakeholders’ reflections on Liverpool European Capital of Culture 2008
O'Brien, David. 2010. Liverpool on the map again’ Liverpool stakeholders’ reflections on Liverpool European Capital of Culture 2008. Project Report. University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University, Commissioned by Liverpool City Council.

Measuring the value of culture: A report to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport
O'Brien, David. 2010. Measuring the value of culture: A report to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Project Report. UNSPECIFIED, London.

‘Who pays the piper?’
O'Brien, David. 2008. ‘Who pays the piper?’. Project Report. Liverpool City Council, Liverpool.

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