Cecilia Cassinger

Cecilia Cassinger

PhD, Senior lecturer, Docent

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Personal profile


Cecilia Cassinger is Associate Professor in the Department of Strategic Communication at Lund University, Sweden. She holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration, having specialised in marketing. Her research focuses on place branding and communication practices for the enhancement of the image and reputation of places, such as countries, cities and tourist destinations, and their impact on the public sphere and everyday life.


Prior to joining the Department of Strategic Communication in 2013, I worked as a lecturer at Essex Business School (University of Essex, UK) and before that I received my Ph.D. from the Department of Business Administration, Lund School of Economics and Management (Lund University). My dissertation Retailing retold: Unfolding international retail image construction in everyday practice examined the spatial and temporal situatedness of consumers' image construction of organizations in Sweden and China, using the global retailer IKEA as an example.

My research interests lie in marketing and brand communication. I am interested in the social consequences of shaping public principles and common interests according to marketing and brand logic. I work interdisciplinarily with overlapping concepts in place branding, communication geography and organisational communication. My focus is on the processual and constitutive nature of communication and how meanings of geographical places and organisations are negotiated by actors in time and space. A related research interest is the transformative potential of everyday (non-strategic!) practices and the conflicts that arise when people's experiences are appropriated for strategic purposes (e.g. in branding processes). I am currently involved in three interdisciplinary research projects on the significance of communication for social sustainability in cities.

Selection of recent/ongoing research projects

Place Brand Communication

I have worked or am currently working on branding cities, regions and nations. The studies deal with place branding as an instance of strategic communication. They examine place branding strategies through cultural and practice-based approaches. My research is part of two projects in relation to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11 on urban sustainability. The projects explore the role of place branding and strategic communication in the achievement of an environmentally and socially sustainable urban environment.

Safe retail in vulnerable areas

This research project exaines new forms of collaboration in the retail sector for the creation of safe urban environments. The project focuses on the role of retailers in five vulnerable urban areas with low purchasing power and high levels of violence and crime in Sweden. The project is funded by the Swedish Retail and Wholesale Council for a period of two years. 

Mitigating resistance against tourism

This resarch is part of a four-year Formas-funded project, Rethinking urban tourism development: dealing with sustainability in the age of excess tourism, and looks at how strategic communication can reduce conflicts between tourists and residents in touristified cities, and the role of the media in the age of excess consumption. I am also interested in how  place brand communication can be used to generate new narratives of the city that can drive sustainable change.

Gender, place branding, and public diplomacy

The research is concerned with gender dynamics in the context of place branding, public diplomacy and communicating sustainability. Care ethics and theories of vulnerability are of particular interest.


I'm involved in teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses in qualitative methods, marketing communication and brand communication. I also supervise bachelor's, master's, and doctoral  theses. Between 2016 and 2019, I was the director of the undergraduate programmes, the BSc in strategic communication and the BSc in strategic communication and digital media. 

Since 2011, I have held the Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education and associate status with the Higher Education Academy, UK.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

UKÄ subject classification

  • Social Sciences

Free keywords

  • Place branding, Strategic communication, Communication geography, Sustainability, Activism


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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