From Modernism to Populism: –Art as a discursive mirror of the Nation Brand

Victoria L. Rodner, Finola Kerrigan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
375 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose- This paper examines the role played by visual arts in expressing and shaping the nation brand. In doing so, it establishes the centrality of visual discourse in nation branding; illustrating that discursive strategies can directly alter the nation brand’s perception.

Design/ methodology/ approach- This single case study drawing on depth interviews, field observation and secondary/historical material, applies Mediated Discourse Analysis (MDA) and Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to capture a transitional period in the cultural policies and nation branding rhetoric across a timeframe of 60 years.
Findings- This study establishes the visual arts as significant carriers of meaning reflecting changes in national discourse. This analysis illustrates that publicly supported visual arts can articulate policy aspirations and provide insight into the power of competing discourse of the nation which co-exist, therefore shaping the internal and external nation brand.

Practical implications-The paper establishes visual art as central to expressing national identity and policy, and a tool for examination of national identify and policy. More broadly, the paper establishes public support for the (visual) arts as central to organic and inorganic nation branding projects providing insight for those engaged in such campaigns to prioritize arts funding.

Originality/value- Our study indicates the marketing relevance of visualization of the nation through the arts and establishes the visual arts as a central tenant of the nation brand.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Early online date2 Feb 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Feb 2018


  • nation brand
  • Aesthetics
  • ART
  • Mediated Discourse Analysis
  • Policy


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