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Welcome to Lorraine Lim's E-Portfolio


From the 1st of September 2010, I will be taking up a position as Lecturer in Arts Management at Birkbeck, University of London. I will be based at the Department of Media and Cultural Studies within the School of Arts. My new contact details are L dot Lim at bbk dot ac dot uk

I completed my PhD in Cultural Policy Studies at the Centre for Cultural Policy Studies in 2009. A Singapore citizen, my interest in cultural policy stems from Singapore's attempt to make a mark in the international cultural scene. I started my PhD at Warwick after completing my MPhil in Dramaturgy at the University of Glasgow and a B.A in Creative Arts (Honours) at the University of Melbourne/ Victorian College of the Arts. In September 2009, I was awarded an Early Career Fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Study.


Department: Centre for Cultural Policy Studies  

Supervisor: Dr. Jonathan Vickery

Title: In the Global Field of Cultural Production: Singapore as a Global City for the Arts

My thesis is an examination of Singapore's aspiration to become a Global City for the Arts as set out in the Renaissance City Report released in 2000. By examining the key issues surrounding Singapore's attempt to become a Global City for the Arts, this thesis discuss the reasons why Singapore want to be achieve this aim and identifies the key obstacles in realising this goal.

Using a Pierre Bourdieu framework of analysis, I provide a different way of examining Singapore's perception of its position in relation to other cities in the world and highlight key areas that Singapore needs to develop as it seeks to truly become a Global City for the Arts. By expanding and extending Bourdieu's concepts of 'field' and 'habitus', I show how the Government firstly, uses a variety of rules and regulations to manage the cultural production of arts and culture in Singapore and secondly, how it attempts to inculcate an appreciation of a specific aesthetic style in both Singaporean artists and audiences.

I argue that Singapore's quest to become a Global City for the Arts is stymied due to its inability to develop a meaningful international global profile through the way it attempts to micro-manage the creation, production and consumption of culture in Singapore. These issues coupled with a rapidly changing Singapore society only serve to undermine Singapore's attempt to become a Capital of Culture. I assert that unless there is a fundamental shift in the way policy directives are implemented and enforced in Singapore, it is highly unlikely that Singapore can truly attain its goal of becoming a Global City for the Arts.


While my research findings are focused on Singapore, my recommendations are extremely relevant to other cities in the world that have also invested large amounts of resources in order to transform themselves into Capitals of Culture. The Bourdieu-based framework that I developed for my thesis could be extended to other cities to:

  • Examine how cultural policy facilitates varying combinations of capital and constructs its artistic field and develops its habitus
  • Comparatively assess a number of different cities together to draw correlations between the implementations of the varying strategies adopted by these cities and determine if Capitals of Culture need to acquire specific standardised targets or goals in order to become Global City for the Arts
  • Investigating new and current strategies adopted by recognised Capital of Cultures such as London and Paris, to improve or maintain their status or increase differentiation as Capitals of Culture. London's attempt to revitalise the East End of its city, via hosting the Olympics in 2012 is one unusual project that highlights an atypical use of capital outside the hitherto frameworks of urban regeneration policy and cultural policy


Singapore, Bourdieu, Cultural Policy, Capital, Urban Regeneration, Sport, Olympics, London 2012


Contact Me

University of Warwick
Milburn House
Centre for Cultural Policy Studies
Coventry, CV4 7AL

Email: B dot F dot L dot Lim at warwick dot ac dot uk