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Keywords:

  • UK;
  • creativity;
  • media;
  • power;
  • knowledge;
  • geography

This paper is concerned with developments in the UK ‘creative industries’ in the late 1990s. It questions the government's preoccupation with measuring these industries, and argues that this quantification impulse – manifested in a high-profile ‘mapping’ exercise – was tied to the intensification of disciplinary forms of regulatory power. The power to define, control and orient the modern economy can be seen to be exercised through the production and mediation of geographical knowledges.