A nation-branding perspective on Euro-Atlantic integration and online representation of a nation - the case of the country of Georgia
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Using a theoretical framework integrating the theory of Competitive Identity (Anholt 2007), Conceptual Framework of the Formation of a Nation's Image (Dinnie 2008) and Conceptual Model of Key Perspectives for Analysis of a Nation's Image (Fan 2008), the dissertation analyzes the process of transition of the country of Georgia towards Euro-Atlantic integration from nation-branding (external) and public diplomacy (internal) viewpoints, with special focus and attention on the role and functions of communications in this process. The role and importance of different dimensions of Georgia's competitive Identity and various communication channels are examined in the context of Georgia's pursuit of its declared strategic goal to become a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU). Analysis is conducted using exploratory qualitative case study approach based on a combination of a comprehensive review of a large amount of different texts and documents and a series of a total of 30 semi-structured in-depth interviews with representatives of key domestic and international experts and stakeholders of the Georgia's nation-brand. In the second part of the dissertation, a new concept of Online Representation of a Nation (ORN) is explicates and developed in detail and is integrated into the suggested conceptual framework as a center piece that interconnects and rearranges the components of the framework into a new, expanded and more complex model. The dissertation also develops a methodology and an instrument for measurement of the explicated concept of ORN using a combination of quantitative and qualitative content analysis of different purposive samples of online information and suggests ranking of nation-brands based on their respective ORN.
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