Melissa AronczykDec 4, 2013
Branding the Nation
The Global Business of National Identity
University Press 2013
In Branding the Nation: The Global Business of National Identity, Melissa Aronczyk locates the rise of nation branding as a response to the perceived need to sculpt national identity in the face of a fiercely competitive global economy. In tracking the history of the nation-branding phenomenon, Aronczyk recounts the rise and spread of the very idea of national "competitiveness," a discourse that, in effect, created a market that branding specialists then tapped. The book engages with the large scholarly literature on nations and nationalism, arguing that nation branding should not be dismissed as merely the invasion of business practices into the national imaginary--though it has this character, undeniably--but that the practice should also be read as a discourse that maintains, extends, and reconstitutes the nation. Based on dozens of interviews with nation-branding specialist over a five-year period, Aronczyk develops major case studies of Poland and Canada in particular, and substantial treatments of a number of other cases spanning the globe, including Botswana, Chile, Estonia, Georgia, Jamaica, and Libya. In Branding the Nation, Aronczyk tells the story of how national identity came to be seen, and sold, as a form of added value in a competitive global market, and how these campaigns fed back into the ongoing process of thinking, and imagining, the nation.