excuse two to spend a summer in reyjkavik /cfp


General Conference of the European Consortium for Political Research
Reyjkavik, 25-27 August 2011

It has been thirty years since the Saatchi & Saatchi’s hugely successful campaign for Margaret Thatcher. However, political advertising is no longer only used by competing parties before elections. Instead, recently, many governments have hired advertising agencies to promote and manage their country’s reputations. In Europe, countries emerging from the debris of the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s are keen to disassociate themselves from their war-time images of conflict and violence, and seek to reposition themselves in the world. Thus, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro and now Kosovo – among others – have launched nation branding campaigns. For Simon Anholt, who first coined the term ‘nation brand’, these campaigns are an extension of his original concept; and he has challenged their purpose and usefulness. Yet, governments continue to invest in nation branding. This panel examines the implications of governments using advertising to shape the nation. The process of creating a campaign is often concomitant to a process of nation building in post conflict societies. Thus, what exactly is being advertised? How do such campaigns shape the identity of the nation itself, nations that are often in transition? What kind of relationships do these campaigns seek to foster between its ‘product’ or ‘brand’ and its ‘consumer’? If the campaigns are intended to shape the perception of outsiders, then what are the implications for citizens and for civic society? If the campaigns are about representing the nation to the world, then surely we must consider who is included and excluded from such an image. On a broader level, what are the implications of states using capitalist strategies? What, then, is the relationship between the market and the nation state? This panel invites papers that interrogate the project of nation branding and its implications, as well as those that examine the consequences and outcomes of specific campaigns.

Please submit paper proposals by 1 February via the ECPR website. Please note that you do not have to be a member of the ECPR to submit a paper. If you need an extension, please get in touch with the panel chair.


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