Call for Papers

The Re:Imagine Jamaica Project, in association with the Center For Leadership and Governance, University of the West Indies (UWI), Jamaica, invites paper proposals for the inaugural Brand Jamaica symposium entitled “Re-Imagine Jamaica: Unlimited Possibilities” to be held on July 16-17, 2015 at the University of The West indies, Mona Campus, Kingston, Jamaica.

Nations, regions and cities are today competing with each other for their share of the world’s tourists, investment, aid, students, for buyers of their products and services, for talent as well as for the attention and respect of the media and the global community. Indeed, the new global economy is thus imposing on all states the obligation to develop, manage and leverage their image in order to stand out in this increasingly competitive global marketplace.

Nation branding is the process by which nations construct their distinctive identity, culture and heritage and project their image in the world. This process is particularly important for developing nations as they try to attract investment, boost their economies and offer their citizens a meaningful life. Nigeria, Namibia, the Bahamas, Maldives, Ecuador and Costa Rica are among the countries of the Third World that have been taking steps to aggressively brand their nations. Over the last decade, Jamaica has also been actively engaged in a similar process of creating, positioning and managing its public image.

This is especially important given the dilemma confronting Brand Jamaica. Many aspects of the Jamaican brand exhibit extraordinary presence, influence and promise (e.g. tourism, sports; a vibrant culture and world famous export products). Yet, there are also dangerous deficits, and a prolonged crisis embodied in poor governance – violent crime, breaches of human rights, poverty and rising employment. These negative discourses have simultaneously served to undermine Jamaica in international public opinion, and disrupt its capacity to take full advantage of its moral, social, economic and cultural capital.

The Re-Imagine Jamaica: Unlimited Possibilities symposium will explore the following themes: aims to explore some of the key trends, issues, challenges and practices that are shaping Brand Jamaica. It aims to provide insights into:

▪   Brand Jamaica and Identity: How Jamaica may define itself on its own terms and makes claim its own identity based on consensus among all stakeholders.

▪       Expanding Tourism Beyond San, Sun and Sea: How to promote and project its national identity and brand in the global arena beyond tourism; how to reposition the Jamaican brand, create a more complex narrative and project a more positive image of the country.

▪       Mobilising the Creative Industries: How Jamaica can make the most of its hugely popular global image and symbols created through sports, music, food and destination tourism.

▪       Challenges to Jamaica’s International Image: How to manage current reputational challenges (e.g, crime, homophobia, justice) and stereotypes that undermine and threaten Brand Jamaica, that is, how to develop measures to address, counter and challenge them.

▪       Brand Jamaica and The Local Economy: How different domestic sectors (business & industry, agriculture, etc.) can develop a better understanding of Brand Jamaica and the role they have to play in it.

▪       Jamaica’s Intellectual Property: Ways to protect Brand Jamaica from dilution, contamination and exploitation.

▪    Crisis Management and Brand Jamaica: How to handle communication challenges during times of crisis (such as natural disasters, political unrest, upsurges of crime, etc.).

▪       Brand Jamaica and the Diaspora: How Jamaicans in the diaspora impact Brand Jamaica and how the image of the nation influences how Jamaicans are received and treated abroad.

▪       Brand Jamaica: The Way Forward: Recommendations for policy and action

Interested parties should sent a 300-500 word abstract to reimaginejamaica@gmail.com by November 30, 2014. Abstracts should clearly address one or more of the conference themes, and also include affiliation and contact details.

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