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Popular music is increasingly visible in government strategies and policies. While much has been written about the expanding flow of music products and music creativity in emphasising the global nature of popular music, little attention has been paid to the flow of ideas about policy formation and debates between regions and nations. This book examines specific regional and national histories, and the different cultural values placed on popular music. The state emerges as a key site of tension between high and low culture, music as art versus music as commerce, public versus private interests, the right to make noisy art versus the right to a good night's sleep. The political economy of urban popular music is a strong focus, examining attempts to combine and complement arts and cultural policies with 'creative city' and 'creative industries' strategies. The Anglophone case studies of policy contexts in Canada, Britain, the US and Australia reveal how the everyday influence and use of popular music is also about questions of aesthetics, funding and power. This book was originally published as a special issue of The International Journal of Cultural Policy.