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The Götterdämmerung of the Nation Brand: German Identity After 30 years of Unification

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Part of the New Perspectives in German Political Studies book series (NPG)

Abstract

Can a country, a nation-state be a brand? Does it make sense to apply a business concept to explore and evaluate the development of Germany in 30 years as a unified nation? Nations around the world are increasingly active in the cultivation of their images. Positive images attract tourists and foreign investments, help in forging international alliances and lure the best brains into a country’s workforce. Each regime or government rolls out its propaganda machine to manipulate their images in an attempt to improve their reputations. The nation’s brand takes shape in such images, which are not based only on facts, but rather emerge from a mixture of facts, myths, beliefs and prejudices and many other subjective impressions and experiences. Considering nations as brands helps reveal some of their core qualities. This paper is not going to apply traditional or current approaches like the Anholt-GfkRoper Nation Brands Index from economic disciplines or a marketing point of view to analyze the question of how successful a country is as a brand. The focus here is on Germany after 30 years of unification. The analysis will look into those building blocks making up a nation brand, which can be called system software: The attitudes, opinions and meanings the German people expose toward their government, their country and their past. The paper takes a thorough look at a few specific areas of political culture, which currently define the Berlin Republic. Themes and areas to be scrutinized include the historical consciousness of Germans, anti-Semitism and right-wing orientations, foreign policy orientations, trust in government and the debate on Germany and immigration. The resume will discuss these data, evaluating the current state of the brand and the image of Germany.

Keywords

  • German Brand
  • Identity
  • Political culture
  • Historical consciousness
  • Foreign policy

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Correspondence to Felix Philipp Lutz .

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Lutz, F.P. (2022). The Götterdämmerung of the Nation Brand: German Identity After 30 years of Unification. In: Oswald, M., Robertson, J. (eds) The Legacy and Impact of German Unification. New Perspectives in German Political Studies. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-97154-0_10

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