Un-nation Branding: The Cities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in Israeli Soft Power

Rhys Crilley, Ilan Manor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter presents a theory of ‘un-nation branding’. We define this as the practice of promoting a nation-state with minimal or even no reference to the nation-state. In contrast to nation branding, un-nation branding involves states symbolising themselves as/through cities (or regions) in order to make themselves attractive to others. In articulating this theory, we focus on the case study of Israel’s ‘Two Cities. One Break’ advertising campaign. We highlight how this campaign serves to visually represent Israel as the cities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. As a practice of un-nation branding, we argue that the ‘Two Cities. One Break’ campaign silences contentious aspects of the Israeli state, such as questions about borders, settlements and conflict. As such, this campaign is demonstrative of the importance of un-nation branding for states in the twenty-first century, and we suggest several implications of un-nation branding as well as future directions for research into the role of cities in contemporary accounts of soft power.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationPalgrave Macmillan Series in Global Public Diplomacy
Number of pages24
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NamePalgrave Macmillan Series in Global Public Diplomacy

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Political Science and International Relations

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