Marketing War

Danny Kaplan
New York, September 26th 2009, 14:00 - 14:30

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In times of war commercial considerations present new ways to promote culturally available sentiments of nationalism, previously sustained by state institutions. As governments withdraw from managing emergency services this vacuum may be taken up by private agents, particularly at the local-municipal level. This question of marketing war is examined in a case-study of a commercial radio station in the city of Haifa during the 2006 Lebanon War. The local radio gave warning of incoming rockets, guided residents during their stay in shelters, engineered the collective mood and promoted civic welfare. This was accompanied by a national-patriotic rhetoric which was highly successful in boosting audience
rating. In such circumstances global pressures toward privatization figure as a structural process, in which nationalism can be taken as its content. As global logic of market economy permeates the nation-state it may weaken the state but not necessarily the nation.