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Nation branding prevails as a contested research domain that challenges both practitioners and researchers to define, question and illustrate contemporary transformations in the reputation of a country and its people. Historically, governments have assumed control over nation branding in strategic partnerships with national companies and agencies.
Acknowledging the significance of managerial approaches to branding - strategic planning, product development, image positioning and efficient marketing, we argue that these practices are increasingly transformed by and entangled with for example, demographic changes, market transformations and the global circulation of creative industrial resources. In particular, we are witnessing novel constellations of partnerships and collaborations resulting in creative products that act as symbolic ammunition in nation branding. These novel constellations co-produce new dynamics and unpredictable modes of interaction across borders. What are the intended and the unintended consequences of these?
Another area of change lies in the reconfigurations in the idea of the nation, which has historically assumed the
singularity of 'one nation, one people'. This issue is well recognized to be highly problematic in the context of global flows of capital, ideas and images, and large-scale transnational migration that disrupt ideal perceptions of the nation as a political and economic unity. It is no longer crystal clear what people or what symbols are embedded in (or excluded from) nation branding. So, what does it mean to brand a nation? And what does it take to brand a nation in a global context increasingly characterized by a crowding of new actors who are willingly or unwilling entangled in branding endeavours?