Hard Power Elements in Nation Branding: Bayraktar TB-2 Example

Proceedings of The 5th World Conference on Research in Social Sciences

Year: 2023

DOI: https://www.doi.org/10.33422/5th.socialsciencesconf.2023.02.103


Hard Power Elements in Nation Branding: Bayraktar TB-2 Example

Ahmet Türkmen, Caroline Guillet




This paper aims to provide evidence on hard power elements’ involvement in nation branding. This novel approach recognizes the importance of elements that have been traditionally incorporated in the concept of nation branding but goes beyond this definition to measure whether hard power elements can be associated with a subject nation by observers. The paper is designed as a qualitative theory building study. The research examines the attitudes of a sample of Ukrainian nationals residing either in Türkiye or in Ukraine. Using a semi-structured interview using snowball sampling methodology, a set of questions are directed to 8 respondents to understand if Bayraktar TB-2 impacted their perception of Türkiye. Findings indicate that all respondents either associate Bayraktar TB-2 with Türkiye or their perceptions towards Türkiye are affected by it. Although current literature indicates that “exports” is a part of nation branding, research showed that Bayraktar drones, and thereby hard power elements, are not considered as exports, but instead a factor on its own, positively influencing the perception of a nation.  As for limitations, the current sample size is not sufficient to represent the whole mass and further study has to be conducted to empirically test the suggested theory. This research paper aims to contribute to the concept of nation branding and offer new insights into the scope of its application. While recognizing the validity of the current pillars of nation branding, this research suggests that hard power weighs in the domestic and international perception of a given country in this case Türkiye, and therefore should not be excluded from nation branding.

keywords: Nation Branding; Hard Power; Public Diplomacy; Branding; Country of Origin