Nation Branding in Contemporary Taiwan. A Grasroots Perspective

Zemanek, Adina Simona orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7960-8646 (2018) Nation Branding in Contemporary Taiwan. A Grasroots Perspective. Culture, Theory and Critique, 59 (2). pp. 119-138. ISSN 1473-5784

[thumbnail of Author Accepted Manuscript]
PDF (Author Accepted Manuscript) - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


Official URL:


This paper, based on textual analysis and interviews, offers a complementary perspective of scholarly studies of nation
branding which focus on the state and corporate elites involved in such undertakings. It places grassroots initiatives in branding Taiwan through tourist souvenirs and other video and graphic materials against the larger background of cultural policies and official branding campaigns, and shows grassroots actors’ complex entanglement with official institutions, policies and discourses despite declared scepticism towards the latter and a low degree of direct collaboration. It compares official and grassroots messages and argues that the latter are more coherent; capture a local specificity and encourage a tourist gaze centred around the ‘human touch’ theme; distance themselves from China, the significant ‘other’ of Taiwanese nationalism; and markedly highlight an epistemological and representational strategy based on individual, sensorial experience, which may constitute a response to biased and untrustworthy state national narratives of the martial law era.

Repository Staff Only: item control page