In Nation Branding How Does the Swedish Government Manage the Tensions Between Conflicting Foreign Policy Goals Especially the Tension Between Economic Interests in Arms Export and Promotion of Human Rights?

Laura Ellsinger

Student thesis: Master thesis


This is an investigation of Sweden’s use of nation branding in order to promote two conflicting foreign policies - the arms export to countries who violate human rights and the strong promotion of human rights. The research aims to perform a policy assessment of Sweden’s current nation branding strategy through the use of foreign policy analysis and nation branding theory. The data was collected through interviews and secondary data which was then analysed in order to answer the research question of this paper. The theoretical foundation brought up several points of analysis, for example; the image of Sweden abroad, success rate of nation branding, legitimacy, holistic communication, public opinion, economic incentives, globalization and decision making model and biases. These variables was tested on the collected data and analysed accordingly. Potential limitations to the findings as well as to the methodology was discussed. Lastly, the conclusion of this research is that Sweden are successful in promoting their country, but the ethical dilemma of the conflicting foreign policy​ ​persists​ ​and​ ​may​ ​negatively​ ​impact​ ​‘brand​ ​Sweden’​ ​and​ ​the​ ​country’s​ ​legitimacy.

EducationsMSc in International Business and Politics, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages142
SupervisorsMorten Ougaard