For comments and suggestions, I would like to thank the two referees, James Brassett, Stuart Croft, Pertti Joenniemi, Marko Lehti, Matt McDonald, Owen Parker, and Mat Watson.
Nation Branding, National Self-Esteem, and the Constitution of Subjectivity in Late Modernity†
Article first published online: 15 AUG 2013
© 2013 International Studies Association
Foreign Policy Analysis
Volume 11, Issue 2, pages 195–214, April 2015
How to Cite
2013) Nation Branding, National Self-Esteem, and the Constitution of Subjectivity in Late Modernity. Foreign Policy Analysis, doi: 10.1111/fpa.12028. (
- Issue published online: 5 APR 2015
- Article first published online: 15 AUG 2013
Surprisingly, the emergent and increasingly popular phenomenon of nation branding has received only scant attention from International Relations scholars. While most analyses account for the phenomenon by emphasizing the perceived material benefits to be derived from establishing a positive national brand, this article provides an alternative perspective. It argues that nation-branding processes need to be understood as responding to the need of states and state leaders to enhance both their citizens and the nation's sense of ontological security and (self)-esteem. Moreover, this quest for self-esteem and ontological security is unfolding in the context of broader realignments occasioned by the advent of late modernity. While nation branding represents an understandable response to these developments, the article questions the strategy's overall efficacy by highlighting its implications for how national subjectivity is constituted, its notable disciplining elements and its potentially undemocratic implications.