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Rwanda Since 1994Stories of Change$
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Hannah Grayson and Nicki Hitchcott

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781786941992

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786941992.001.0001

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Rebranding Rwanda’s Peacekeeping Identity during Post-Conflict Transition

Rebranding Rwanda’s Peacekeeping Identity during Post-Conflict Transition

(p.104) Rebranding Rwanda’s Peacekeeping Identity during Post-Conflict Transition
Rwanda Since 1994

Georgina Holmes

Ilaria Buscaglia

Liverpool University Press

Drawing on recent theorising of 'nation branding', this article examines how mediatised security narratives are used as part of the current Government of Rwanda's public diplomacy strategy to establish post-conflict Rwanda's peacekeeping identity and brand image as a Troop Contributing Country. It does so by undertaking an analysis of media discourse published by the state-owned English language national newspaper The New Times between 2008 and 2018, and two 'twitter storms' that occurred in March 2017 and 2018 in response to the Central African Republic Sexual Exploitation and Abuse scandal involving French military peacekeepers and a second scandal involving Ghanaian police peacekeepers in South Sudan. Specifically, we ask, how does the Government of Rwanda use mediatised security narratives as a nation branding tool after genocide and civil war? We argue that mediatised security narratives are employed to erase Rwanda's negative brand informed by the frameworks of victimology, poverty and violence and reposition Rwanda as an emerging strategic player in international peacekeeping. The RPF achieves this by 'niche building' and mimicking the public diplomacy strategies of middle-powers in order to present Rwanda as a catalyst and facilitator of contemporary peacekeeping policy and practice.

Keywords:   nation branding, public diplomacy, Rwanda, peacekeeping, post-conflict state building, security, narrative, niche building

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