Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf, winter 2016/17
Prof. Dr. Oliver Zöllner
Course title: International Communication: Nation Branding and Public Diplomacy
Course module: European & international studies / Actors & processes
Language of instruction: English
Dates: 4 Nov, 25 Nov, 16 Dec 2016, 27 Jan 2017
Venue: 23.02.02.22 (except 16 Dec: 23.21.U1.81)
Link to ILIAS page:
About this course:
In the context of globalisation and mediatisation, nation-states are increasingly seen as marketable, immaterial goods. This
is where nation branding
sets in. Like a global corporation or a commodified product, a nation-state can be 'branded',
or so it seems.
A brand focuses on image, reputation, and certain values. A country with a bad image or reputation, or one standing for values
refuted by the majority of relevant stakeholders, or a country with no image or reputation at all, will likely be left behind
in the competition for access to monetary and intellectual resources, and may therefore lose out in the sociopolitical arena
of influence and power. It's all about 'competitive identity', a perhaps more fashionable term.
Related to nation branding, the rather old, but recently rejuvenated concept of public diplomacy
is looking at forming
ties with other countries or societies by way of cultural-based public relations. This may present itself as an honest attempt
at intercultural dialogue in some cases, or as just another way of self-appraisal in order to create a better image of one's
country - or simply as propaganda, as critics say (and they're not always wrong).
In this course we will be looking into concepts of both public diplomacy and nation branding, and see how and where they
overlap. Related areas such as marketing, public relations and propaganda will be covered, too. Students will develop research
questions of their own and will present examples of how nation-states actively go about branding themselves, how such countries
perform public diplomacy, with what kinds of messages, what types of actions, for what target groups, and why they do this.
#public_diplomacy #nation_branding #competitive_identity #marketing #PR #reputation_management #culture #analysis
For your individual research endeavours, please consult the detailed reading list at