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Jeremy Youde, ‘Selling the State: State Branding as a Political Resource in South Africa’, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 5(2) 2009: 126‒40.
While states have long marketed themselves to promote tourism and economic development, we are now witnessing their use of modern marketing techniques as an explicit political tool. In essence, states are creating and deploying a ‘brand’ to advance foreign policy goals. I examine how South Africa has attempted to use its Brand South Africa campaign, a public–private programme administered by the quasi-governmental International Marketing Council of South Africa, to achieve specific foreign policy objectives. I discuss why South Africa might use this tool, how it has been successful and what its limitations might be.