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Berlin's Creative Industries: Governing Creativity?


  • Bastian Lange
  • Ares Kalandides
  • Birgit Stober
  • H. A. Mieg


This paper aims at discussing the issue of governing creativity exemplifying the case of Berlin. Berlin has a fast growing creative industry that has become the object of the city's development policies and place marketing. The core question is: What are the spatial-organizational driving forces of creativity in Berlin—can they be steered by public administration? The point of departure of this paper is the four “paradoxes of creativity” formulated by DeFillippi, Grabher and Jones in 2007 that describe organizational dilemmas linked to epistemological problems of the study of creativity. For our analyses, we refer to and make use of the various existing databases and recent studies on Berlin's creative industries, in particular the attempts of the Berlin Senate to assess the economic contribution of creative industries. We will show the potential for self-organization—and thus self-governance—of creativity and creative industries in Berlin. This potential is linked to the activities of communities of practice that make use of Berlin's specific urban fabric. The “paradoxes of creativity” that have become obvious in the case of Berlin's creative industries concern, for instance, the tension between the autonomy of creative production, on the one hand, and the necessities of professionalization on the other. The local communities of practice—of which most of Berlin's creative industries are made—serve both as quality evaluation circles and drivers of creativity and innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • Bastian Lange & Ares Kalandides & Birgit Stober & H. A. Mieg, 2008. "Berlin's Creative Industries: Governing Creativity?," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(5), pages 531-548.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:15:y:2008:i:5:p:531-548
    DOI: 10.1080/13662710802373981

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    Cited by:

    1. Helene Martin‐Brelot & Michel Grossetti & Denis Eckert & Olga Gritsai & Zoltán Kovács, 2010. "The Spatial Mobility of the ‘Creative Class’: A European Perspective," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(4), pages 854-870, December.
    2. Neil Lee & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2014. "Innovation in Creative Cities: Evidence from British Small Firms," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(6), pages 494-512, August.
    3. Sihvonen, Tanja & Cnossen, Boukje, 2016. "Not only a workplace : Reshaping creative work and urban space," Other publications TiSEM ed1326b7-ed1a-4b44-a4b5-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    4. Neil Lee & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2014. "Innovation in creative cities: Evidence from British small firms," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1422, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Nov 2014.
    5. Stefan Rehak & Martin Chovanec, 2012. "Exploring creative clusters using micro-geographic data," ERSA conference papers ersa12p562, European Regional Science Association.
    6. Karima Kourtit & Yuyuan Wen & Peter Nijkamp & Wentao Yu & Jin Hong & Yunhao Zhu & Dora Marinova & Xiumei Guo, 2014. "Creative industry clusters, regional innovation and economic growth in China," Regional Science Policy & Practice, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 329-347, November.


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