Place Branding and Development in Exurban Environments

The overall research project looks at the development and branding strategies used by small urban centers that are in close proximity to metropolitan centers. Majority of studies on place branding tend to focus either on mega-cities or on small towns. This study brings a mid-level approach by looking at scenarios in which both smaller and larger places exist together. The findings are likely to shed light on a previously understudied aspect of place development and branding.

Non-State Public Diplomacy: Cities as Soft Power Assets

This theory-building research explores and identifies how cities generate soft power for nation-states through their communicative and diplomatic practices. Building on the relatively nascent studies of city diplomacy and city branding, the main objective is to establish a taxonomic categorization of cities as soft power assets. The study will identify the variables which might influence the ways different cities might provide soft power assets to different nation-states.

The research asks one main question: What are the different ways through which cities generate soft power assets? The answer will be presented as a taxonomic categorization that explains the extent of the contributions of cities to national soft power assets. The categorization will be created through a deductive and inductive content analysis of city activities gathered through archival research and interviews.