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Branding of Emerging Nations: A Multi-discipline Perspective

Special issue call for papers from Journal of Asia Business Studies

Guest editors:

Dr. Madhurima Deb, Indian Institute of Management—Kashipur, India, [email protected] 
Dr. Somnath Chakrabarti, Indian Institute of Management—Kashipur, India, [email protected]

Supervising editor:

Dr. Hemant Merchant, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Asia Business Studies, University of South Florida - St. Petersburg, USA


With the rise of emerging nations worldwide, the notion of ‘Nation branding’ is attracting increasing attention.  Nation branding is defined as “the phenomenon by which governments engage in self-conscious activities aimed at producing a certain image of the nation state” (Bolin & Stahlberg, 2010).  By branding itself (along one, or more, of several dimensions), a nation essentially attempts to redefine and/or reposition itself on the global stage (Jansen, 2008) by projecting its economic strengths.  Indeed, nations brand themselves for a variety of reasons which include attracting foreign direct investment and boosting local tourism industry (Dinnie, 2008).  Thus, nations leverage the soft power of their national brand to communicate their culture and/or economic appeal to an international audience (Anholt, 2005) to further participate in globalization. Through branding a nation to participate in four basic globalization processes:  1) trade and transactions, 2) capital and investment movements, 3) migration and movement of people, and 4) dissemination of knowledge (International Monetary Fund, 2000).

Despite the importance of nation branding and its growing significance, this research area is still in an infant stage (Fetscherin, 2010).  Although the Public relations industry has paid some attention to this area of study, its narratives often are skewed and suffer from a lack of scientific analysis. Hence, systematic inquiries of this complex (Rohas-Mendez, 2013), multi-dimensional and multi-stakeholder topic (Hankinson, 2004; Trueman et al., 2004) are overdue (Jordan, 2014).  It is necessary to understand how various scholarly disciplines individually and/or jointly inform this relevant phenomenon.


This Special issue provides a forum to conduct rigorous inquiries into the topic of nation branding, particularly involving emerging nations.  Our intent is to generate insights—from a variety of disciplinary perspectives—into the nature of this topic and its role and impact.  Our goal is to better understand both antecedents of as well as processes driving nation branding, and (ideally) their “performance” effect on nations, regions, industries, firms, and individuals.  We welcome studies that focus on single nations as well as those with a comparative focus.  In doing so, we wish to augment the current literature and advance scholarship on this important topic.

Potential topics: 

We welcome conceptual as well as empirical papers related to ‘nation branding’ theme.  These papers may be anchored in any discipline including (but not restricted to) Economics, Finance, Human Resources, Management, Marketing, Public policy, and Strategy.  We are also open to a variety of theoretical perspectives.
Some potential themes include:
1. Conceptual frameworks for building nation brands
2. Theoretical perspectives on nation branding
3. Role of national/regional culture(s) or subcultures in creating a national image
4. Demographic dividends and trends in emerging markets
5. Technological advancement and its role in competitiveness
6. Public policy on ‘nation branding’ initiatives and their efficacy
7. Growth opportunities in infrastructure in emerging nations and their effect on brand building
8. Competitive advantage enjoyed (or being built) by companies operating in emerging nations
9. Consumer transformation in emerging nations and their impact on building national brand
10. Emergence of new economic blocks and strengthening of existing economic blocks
11. Role of national institutions (e.g., capital/labour markets; IPR regimes) on nation branding
12. Nation branding initiatives and development of economics of scale in manufacturing
13. Nature and importance of bilateral agreements with developed countries
14. Practitioner oriented concerns currently unaddressed in academic literature
15. International product lifecycle curve and shifting of manufacturing to emerging nations
16. Convergence of foreign policy and economic policy for some emerging nations

Notes for prospective authors:

Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. Conference papers may be submitted only if the original work was not copyrighted and has been substantially rewritten.
1. All papers will be refereed through a double blind process.
2. All papers must only be submitted via ScholarOne at: by the deadline.  Please choose the ‘Nation branding’ Special Issue when submitting your work.
3. Submission guidelines are available at:

Important Dates

August 30, 2015: Deadline for manuscript submission.
• October 8, 2015 – Reviewer reports due.
• November 19, 2015 – Deadline for receiving (invited) revisions.
• January 14, 2016 – Deadline for receiving (invited) final drafts.


Anholt, S. (2005), Brand New Justice: How Branding Places and Products Can Help the Developing World, Amsterdam: Elsevier Butterworth Heinemann.
Bolin, G. and Ståhlberg, P., (2010). Between community and commodity. Nationalism and nation branding. In: A. Roosvall and I. S. Moring, eds., 2010. Communicating the nation. National topographies of global media landscapes. Göteborg: Nordicom, pp. 79–101.
Dinnie, K. (2008), Nation Branding: Concepts, Issues, Practice, 1st ed. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Fetscherin, (2010), “The determinants and measurement of a country brand: the country brand strength index”, International Marketing Review, Vol. 27 No. 4, pp. 466-479.
Hankinson, G., (2004),"The brand images of tourism destinations: a study of the saliency of organic images", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 13 Iss 1 pp. 6 – 14.
International Monetary Fund, (2000). "Globalization: Threats or Opportunity." 12th April 2000: IMF Publications.
Jansen, S. C. (2008) “Designer Nations: Neo-Liberal Nation Branding – Brand Estonia.” Social Identities 14 (1): 121–142.
Jordan, P. (2014), “Nation Branding: A Tool for Nationalism?”, Journal of Baltic Studies, 45:3, 283-303.
Rojas-Méndez, J. (2013), “The Nation Brand Molecule”, Journal of Product & Brand Management, 22 (7).
Trueman, M.M., Klemm, M. and Giroud, A. (2004), “Can a city communicate? Bradford as a corporate brand”, Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 9 No. 4, pp. 317-30. “


Dr. Madhurima Deb, [email protected]  / +91-5947-262176 (Ext. 216)
Dr. Somnath Chakrabarti, [email protected] / +91-5947-262176 (Ext. 205)