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Place Branding: power, identity and belonging.


This project focuses at the role of branding in urban and regional governance. The project is based on the identification of a growing need for studies focusing on those patterns of inclusion and exclusion that have emerged in the aftermath of the restructuring of the welfare state. In particular, the project seeks to meet the need for studies in which new, geopolitical entities are confronted with questions of inclusion, exclusion and diversity. In short, the project aims to explore whether place branding is a sub-national strategy for growth and competitiveness only, or if it is a strategy for (a) urban and regional governance and (b) inclusion and diversity too.


Citizenship, Governance , Regional development, Place Branding, Belonging


The project seeks to explore whether place branding, which is a commonly employed strategy for urban and regional growth and competitiveness, enhances or obstructs inclusion and diversity in urban and regional environments. The study will acknowledge both the broader framework of state rescaling, and the more specific framework that regards the emergence of a new regional development paradigm. Accordingly, the theoretical framework consists of theories about space and place, about state rescaling, about citizenship and about region building. In relation to this framework, five cross-cutting questions will be raised:
(a) Why has place branding become such a widely used element in strategies for local and regional development? (b) In what ways are place branding related to urban and regional governance? Who have the major influence over processes of branding, and who are excluded from these processes? (c) What are the stories being told about the places that are branded and communicated? (d) How does place branding, both as a strategy for development concept and as a model for governance, relate to various aspects of citizenship? (e) What are the values and vissioner expressed and promoted in processes of place branding. Empirical studies will be carried out at the level of a neighbourhood, at the municipal level and at the regional level in the area around Norrköping. The methods employed will include semi-structured interviews, map-elicitation techniques and participant observation.


Syssner, J. (2009) "Conceptualisations of Culture and Identity in Regional Development Policy", in Journal of Regional and Federal Studies.19:3, pp. 437-458.

Syssner, J. (2010) "Platser, människor, visioner - om Vimmerby som kommun och besöksmål?" i Johnsson, Leif (red.) Samhällsutveckling och Kulturarv i Vimmerby kommun, Lund: Nordic Academic Press.

Syssner, J. (2010) "Placebranding in a Multi Level Perspective", in Journal of Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 6, pp. 36?48.

Other Academic Output

The project has involved discussions with and public lectures for a large number of stakeholders;

(2008) Platsmarknadsföring & Platsutveckling, Östergötlands läns kommunalrådsnätverk.
(2008) Platsmarknadsföring & Platsutveckling, Östergötlands läns förvaltningschefer.
(2008) Platsmarknadsföring; en introduktion, Regionförbundet Östsam, Linköping.
(2009) Moderator i samband med TIA-dagarna, Arbetets Museum, Norrköping.
(2009) Jakten på den kreativa platsen, Almedalsveckan, Gotland.
(2009) Plats och konsumtion, paneldiskussion i samarbete med Mattias Åkesson, Östgötadagarna, Norrköpings Konstmuseum.
(2009) Norrköping presenterar sig, i samarbete med Mats Brusman & Anders Karlén, Arbetets Museum, Norrköping.
(2009) Norrköping presenterar sig, i samarbete med Mats Brusman & Anders Karlén, Kulturnatten, Norrköpings Stadsmuseum.
(2010) Kommunen i migrationssamhället, Global Utmaning, Stockholm.
(2010) Värden och Visioner ? en kritisk blick på platsmarknadsföring, Smålands Museum.
(2010) Moderator i samband med TIA-dagarna, Arbetets Museum, Norrköping.
(2010) Visionen om den hållbara staden, Global Utmaing, Luleå.
(2010) Politik på längden och tvären, Ungdomsstyrelsen, Stockholm.
(2010) Culture, Growth & Development; a critical introduction, Public Lecture, ERSA, Jönköping.
(2010) Samtalsledare i samband med filminspelning för utställningen Cash Flow, Botkyrka Konsthall.
(2010) Fem funderingar om platsmarknadsföring, Centrum för Kommunstrategiska Studier
(2010) Soft Power, Paneldiskussion, Verkstad, Norrköping.
(2010) Hållbart i Fokus, Moderator i samband med paneldebatt mellan Norrköpings kommunalråd.
(2010) Fem funderingar om platsmarknadsföring, Åtvidabergs kommunledning.
(2010) Hållbara städer; värden och visioner, paneldiskussion, Global Utmaning, Subtopia, Alby.

2008 - 2011


FAS/FORTE Research environment funding

REMESO Project Leader

Josefina Syssner, Research fellow

Contact for project


Last updated: 2011-05-02

Page responsible: erik.berggren@liu.se
Last updated: 2020-05-27