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Democracy in participatory place branding: a critical approach

Chapter in book
Authors Eva Maria Jernsand
Helena Kraff
Published in Inclusive place branding; critical perspectives on theory and practice
Pages 11-22
ISBN 978-1-315-62035-0
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon; New York, NY
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Business Administration
School of Design and Crafts
Centre for Tourism
Department of Business Administration, Marketing Group
Mistra Urban Futures
Pages 11-22
Language en
Keywords participatory place branding; consensus; democratic legitimacy; governance;
Subject categories Design, Business Administration


Consensus is considered a central construct of participatory place branding. Stakeholders are involved in a consultative manner, with the aim to sift out the essence of a place in the form of a coherent identity. However, in related fields, such as public governance, design, architecture and urban planning, consensus is acknowledged as highly problematic. The risk is that self-interested, powerful individuals marginalize weaker groups, and that complex matters are kept under the surface. This chapter challenges the democratic legitimacy of consensus in place branding, claiming that it stands in contrast to the multifaceted and changeable nature of places, to democracy as a space where a multitude of voices are heard, and to participation as a continuous, profound practice. It is the pluralistic nature of places that make them interesting, thus place branding should be understood as a relationship-builder for place development, where critical issues, internal divisions and multiplicity are addressed.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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