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Nation Branding: A Tool for Nationalism?
2014 (English)In: Journal of Baltic Studies, ISSN 0162-9778, E-ISSN 1751-7877, Vol. 45, no 3, 283-303 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Nation branding, as a phenomenon, is attracting increasing scholarly attention. However, much of the existing literature has been written by those involved in the public relations industry themselves. There have been some studies which have been written from a critical viewpoint; however, the tensions of branding a nation have often been neglected. This paper aims to explore the inherent tensions between nation branding and nation building. To what extent is nation branding a tool or a practice? What images of the nation do branders seek to promote, and who is this image for? Is nation branding merely a more palatable version of nationalism? In particular this paper focuses on the debates surrounding the launch of Brand Estonia in 2001/2. Brand Estonia, with the slogan Welcome to Estonia: Positively Transforming, was launched to coincide with Estonia staging the Eurovision Song Contest in 2002. It is a unique and interesting case study given the level of controversy that the initiative generated amongst the Estonian public. Estonia was the first Former Soviet Republic to launch a nation branding project and, perhaps more controversially, it was managed by a British-based company, Interbrand. However, little scholarly attention has been paid to public-level discourses concerning Brand Estonia. The empirical findings discussed in this article highlight some of the more salient narratives on national identity that Brand Estonia engendered and therefore aims to fill this gap.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 45, no 3, 283-303 p.
Keyword [en]
nation branding; nationalism; nation building; Estonia
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-23445DOI: 10.1080/01629778.2013.860609ISI: 000341645800001ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84888777255OAI: diva2:717491
Available from: 2014-05-15 Created: 2014-05-15 Last updated: 2015-05-13Bibliographically approved

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Jordan, Paul
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