This chapter reviews past and current debates in the cultural policy field, with a specific focus on cultural values and what ‘participation’ or ‘engagement’ means. It provides a critical appraisal of the ‘creative industries’ literature and its influence on policy practititoners, tending to the view that there should be separation of the ideas of the cultural sector and creative industries. The nature and usefulness of cultural accounts statistics is extensively explored with particular reference to the core sources from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The well-worn traditional externality arguments for policy intervention are criticaly evaluated in the light of modern developments in econonmics. The chapter concludes with an analysis of some interesting current developments in South Africa, and the United Kingdom.