Peace talks: public diplomacy and place branding in the 2018 Trump–Kim summit in Singapore

Abstract

Our study, based on a converged conceptual framework of place branding and public diplomacy, examines how Singapore, through the 2018 Trump–Kim Summit, shaped and negotiated its goals, roles and outcomes using informational and relational strategies to promote complementary national interests and to cultivate its international image. Based on a case study approach utilizing analyses of media news coverage, social media data, international convention statistics, and government communication, we examined how and why the Southeast Asian city-state was selected as host, and the subsequent outcomes. We found that Singapore’s hosting of the historic summit is an extension of the city-state’s larger place branding strategy that has been executed over decades in a substantial and transformative manner, featuring both marketing and infrastructure building content Singapore proactively sought to pursue the role of international peace broker and host of high-profile political summits through systematic branding efforts at multiple levels of governance to communicate with and attract the publics of other countries, and to assert its identity on the global stage.

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Correspondence to Hun Shik Kim.

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Kim, H.S., Lee, S.T. Peace talks: public diplomacy and place branding in the 2018 Trump–Kim summit in Singapore. Place Brand Public Dipl 17, 155–167 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41254-020-00163-6

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Keywords

  • Public diplomacy
  • Place branding
  • Singapore
  • Trump–Kim summit
  • Case study