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Palgrave Macmillan

Shaping China's Global Imagination

Branding Nations at the World Expo

ISBN 9781137361714
Publication Date December 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Palgrave Macmillan Series in Global Public Diplomacy

This book explores the concept of nation branding - what it is and how it works - through an instructive case of the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, where 190 countries showcased their national cultures to a predominantly Chinese audience. The comparative analysis of national pavilions (including Brazil, India, Israel, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, the United Arab Emirates and the United States) demonstrates how a place-branding activity, such as the World Expo, facilitates communication to build a nation's image, thereby enhancing its soft power. As nation-branding efforts will only increase in the coming years, this study forms an important basis for future inquiry.

Jian Wang is director of the Center on Public Diplomacy and associate professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California. His publications include Soft Power in China: Public Diplomacy through Communication, Foreign Advertising in China: Becoming Global, Becoming Local, and China's Window on the World: TV News, Social Knowledge and International Spectacles. He was formerly with the international consulting firm McKinsey and Company, where he advised clients on communication strategy and implementation across a variety of industries and sectors.

1. Soft Power, Nation Branding, and the World Expo
2. Branding Nations
3. The Shanghai Expo as a Site for Nation Branding
4. Defining Nation Brands
5. Communicating Nation Brands
6. Experiencing Nation Brands
7. Remembering Nation Brands
8. Nation Branding as Strategic Narrative
9. Nation Branding: Perspectives, Practices, and Prospects


"Wang's writing style is analytically clear and engaging, and raises a certain curiosity in the subject itself. The book combines three issues that are of great interest: China's rise and role in international politics; our perceptions of China; and the role of nation branding (in this book through the prism of the Shanghai Expo). The advantage of a book like this is that it will not just be relevant for China specialists, but also for IR and communication scholars. The clarity of writing makes it accessible and of use in advanced undergraduate courses. I see no real competition for Shaping China's Global Imagination."' - Peter Van Ham, Netherlands Institute of International Relations
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