University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för strategisk kommunikation

Abstract: During the 21st century, public diplomacy and branding received a new angle and application closely related with the meaning of securitization. Even though the importance of this meaning, researchers nowadays notice a research gap considering the three above-mentioned fields. NATO, as a popular security brand, represents an under-researched sui generis organization that gets involved with securitization worldwide. This research aims at eliminating the gap in security brand research, by revealing and answering what are the main factors that influence the configuration of public perceptions of Greek Generation Z about NATO brand after the crucial Afghan case. The examination of the research question follows a quantitative approach, employing the Elaboration Likelihood Model (EML) for producing the theoretical ground pillar and developing the testing hypotheses. Conforming to previous research, source credibility, information accessibility, and argumentation quality are examined as the main factors that could influence the public perceptions. The research effort draws two main conclusions based on the empirical data and the analysis. Firstly, and as former research supports, the source credibility is characterized as the most important factor for the communication processes of branding and public diplomacy. Lastly, the importance of source credibility penetrates the processes and major effects when underlying securitization and applying security branding.

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