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Branding the NationThe Global Business of National Identity$
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Melissa Aronczyk

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199752164

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199752164.001.0001

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Creative Tension, Normal Nation: Branding National Identity in Poland

Creative Tension, Normal Nation: Branding National Identity in Poland

(p.82) Chapter 4 Creative Tension, Normal Nation: Branding National Identity in Poland
Branding the Nation
Oxford University Press

Chapter Four presents a case study of Poland’s efforts to brand its jurisdiction and articulate cultural distinction. In December 2003, the Polish Ministry of Commerce, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, retained the services of a British branding firm called Saffron to create a new Polish national identity on the eve of the country’s accession to the European Union. Polish participants saw the creation of a “brand” identity as part of its drive toward economic, political, and cultural “normalcy” as member of the European Union. But they also saw it as a continuation of a project begun long before: to return to their rightful place in Europe, reclaim their history and cultural memory, and reassert their national spirit in the face of multiple historical antagonisms. These mythopoetic tropes infusing Poland’s national narrative were tightly bound up with the branding project, and the use of a British firm to “facilitate” this project would prove intensely problematic, as revealed by the consultants’ perceptions of Poland’s weaknesses and how they expected the country to overcome them.

Keywords:   Poland, Britain, European Union, normalcy, Saffron, brand, cultural memory, national, nation branding

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