Call for Papers: ”Branding in Political Markets”


Special Issue of the Journal of Political Marketing on

“Branding in Political Markets”

Editors: Dr. Gareth Smith and Dr. Catherine Needham,
Loughborough University Business School, and Queen Mary, University of London, UK

We invite you to submit an abstract of approximately one page for consideration by the editors. Authors whose abstracts are accepted will submit an article of approximately 4,000 – 6,000 words for review in our Special Issue of the Journal of Political Marketing on the above theme.

The idea is to bring together in one volume current thinking on the use (and abuse) of branding in politics.  This may take a managerial ‘how political parties brand’ approach.  Alternatively, it may adopt a more voter-centric approach and seek to research how the political brand is perceived by the electorate.  Whichever, rather than descriptive papers we are looking for theoretical contributions (strong, well conceptualized papers) and empirical research (qualitative or quantitative methods) to develop our understanding of the field.  We are particularly interested in new approaches to the area; encouraging the cross-over of ideas from practice, political science and communications to produce new perspectives and research agendas.

Important Dates and Deadlines:

Submission of Abstracts                              29 March 2010
Notification of Inclusion                              April 2010
Submission of Manuscripts:                        September 2010
Initial Round of Reviews:                             December 2010
Resubmission of Revised Manuscripts:     March 2011
Notification of Final Decisions:                   May 2011
Final Papers Due:                                           June 2011
Anticipated publication in print:                First Quarter 2012.

Specific Focus of the Special Issue

Articles considering branding within politics have begun to appear in mainstream marketing journals (e.g. European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Management, Marketing Theory, Journal of Brand Management), political science journals (Political Studies, Annals of the American Academy of Political Social Science) as well as in the Journal of Political Marketing. In recognition of this growth and as a statement of the development of this important research stream, we are proposing the first special edition devoted entirely to research on branding in politics.  Given the diversity of those researching the area we welcome submissions from political science, communications and marketing/business academics as well as from practitioners. Although not a comprehensive listing, we are particularly interested in receiving papers that address themes in the following areas:

1.    The definition and scope of branding within politics.  The problems/ethical considerations of applying branding ideas to politics.
2.    Branding as strategy, relationship marketing and the permanent campaign.
3.    Branding case studies at national, supranational and local levels within political markets.  For example, branding in US Primary/Presidential elections, EU elections, mayoral and local government elections.
4.    Branding by minor and extreme parties as well as by mainstream parties.
5.    The use of re-branding to reposition within the political marketplace.  Also, the use of branding to better position parties over time.
6.    Branding as consumer learning; interaction with other voter heuristics
7.    The measuring of political brands in terms of brand associations, brand image, brand personality, brand values, brand heritage, brand properties and so on.
8.    Conceptualising/measuring the brand equity of political parties.
9.    The interaction between branding and policy formation/promotion.
10.    The politician as the brand; the interaction between politicians and political parties in brand image development.
11.    Internal brand development: the role of politicians, party staff and external consultants.
12.    Communicating the brand: the use of text, visuals, music, video.
13.    Factors affecting brand image transfer in politics, including media engagement with the brand; the influence of controllable and uncontrollable events in political brand image building.
14.    Comparative branding practices from around the world.
15.    Post modern/critical marketing perspectives of the political brand.

In the first instance, please send your one page abstract to Gareth Smith ( or Catherine Needham ( by 29 March 2010.

Authors are directed to the Journal of Political Marketing for guidance on formatting their article:-

Om jesperstromback

Professor i journalistik och politisk kommunikation
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