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The international face of Thessaloniki: the “Greek crisis,” the entrepreneurial mayor, and mainstream media discourses

Katsinas, Philipp ORCID: 0000-0002-3586-0989 (2019) The international face of Thessaloniki: the “Greek crisis,” the entrepreneurial mayor, and mainstream media discourses. Area, 51 (4). 788 - 796. ISSN 1475-4762

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Identification Number: 10.1111/area.12545


Thessaloniki and its mayor have been portrayed quite favourably in international mainstream media compared to the Greek state after the 2008 economic crisis. The dominant (media) discourses on Greece interpret the crisis as the result of the failure of the Greek state to reform due to the prevalence of a traditional political culture over a modern one and the moral failures of the population. In the international media representations of Thessaloniki, the local government has been described as “exceptional” in its crisis management compared to the state and other local governments, and the city's mayor, Yiannis Boutaris, has been portrayed as a reform hero, due to the implemented entrepreneurial development strategy and the revamp of the city's image through place branding. Analysing the key role of international media in the production and reproduction of a place-branding campaign of Thessaloniki in international media by employing critical discourse analysis, the paper questions the favourable representations of the city compared to the Greek state during the same period. I argue that the serial repetition of positive images contributed to Thessaloniki being perceived as an example to be followed by other Greek local governments and the central state, acting as a best practice example for transformations envisioned on wider scales. The paper contributes to place-branding debates by illustrating the important role of international media in the dissemination of place brands, and by analysing how media representations of place may serve the legitimation of processes of neoliberalisation on scales wider than the concrete urban setting where they occur.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2019 Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
D History General and Old World > DF Greece
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2019 12:42
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2024 04:54

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