Grounded Cosmopolitanism and Branded Cities: Australia, Europe and Asia

ARC International Linkage Project


Professor Stephanie Hemelryk Donald
Professor Eleonore Kofman, Middlesex University
Dr. Tara Forrest, University of Technology, Sydney

This ARC International Linkage project between The Institute of International Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney and Middlesex University explores theoretical and methodological approaches to researching the branded city as a socio-political phenomenon in Australia, Asia and Europe. It focuses on two crucial and interdependent theoretical dimensions of urban study: cities as marked identities, carefully developed but often over simplifying, or conflicting with, rooted political expectations and local systems; and cities as sites of grounded cosmopolitanism, where dominant local narratives do not yet fully address the difficult politics of strangers, neighbours and feeling at home in a new place. Through this twin focus, the researchers have designed a pan-regional project. Its significance lies in its timely and productive contribution to cross-disciplinary theoretical debates on branding and regional cosmopolitanism, which are at present being so vehemently debated.commitment to investigating contemporary problems and opportunities for young people, and to formulating appropriate policy responses. The project is designed to elicit and interpret young people's and pre-teen's views on their communicative environment, and to understand the mechanisms through which social relationships, information conduits, and knowledge networks are built and sustained. The dissemination of the findings will bring young people, educationalists and industry players into a productive dialogue on the benefits and dangers of this pervasive technology.

As Donald and Gammack (2007) argue: "The place brand, or 'city' a concerted attempt to pull attractive and distinctive features of a city into a manageable, imagined alignment. It is a constructed personality of place, which is designed to allow people to build and maintain an ongoing relationship to a particular urban location. The branded city is presented as either touristic or touristed (Cartier, 2005), as a desirable location for investment, and as a metonym for the nation."

Publications and other activities

Stephanie Donald SH, E. Kofman, and C.Kevin (eds). Branding Cities: Cosmopolitanism, Parochialism, and Social Change (New York: Routledge Academic, 2009).
Stephanie Donald SH and J.G.Gammack. Tourism and the Branded City: Film and Identity on the Pacific Rim (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007).
—  Branding cities, marketed identities and the politics of culture in cosmopolitan urban societies workshop, 8 & 9 November, 2007 at Middlesex University, UK.
—  Cross Cultural Regimes of the Senses. Year 2 Class and Place: Cosmopolitan perspectives on a 'grounded' sensorium,, 18 & 19 June 2007 at the University of Technology, Sydney.
—  Branding Cities and Urban Borders: Cosmopolitanism and Parochialism in Asia and Europe conference, 12-14 January 2006 at Australia House, London.
—  Politics of Strangers and Neighbours: accounts of grounded cosmopolitanisms workshop, 25 September 2006 at Middlesex University, UK..
—  Comparative perspectives on cosmopolitanism and theories of belonging: Asia, Australia and the EU workshop, 8 December 2006 at the University of Technology, Sydney.

This project was funded by an ARC International Linkage grant and Middlesex University.

ARC UTS Middlesex