Cecilia Cassinger

Cecilia Cassinger

PhD, Senior Lecturer, Docent

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Personal profile


Cecilia Cassinger (PhD, Lund University, 2010) is Associate Professor at the Department of Strategic Communication, Lund University, Sweden.

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 PhD degree from the Department of Business Administration, Lund School of Economics and Management (Lund University). My doctoral dissertation Retailing retold: Unfolding international retail image construction in everyday practice examined the spatial and temporal situatedness of how consumers construct images of organizations in Sweden and China, using the global retailer IKEA as a case in point. 

My research interests are in marketing and brand communication. I am interested in the social consequences of the shaping of public principles and common interests according to a marketing and brand logic. I work interdisciplinary with overlapping concepts and themes in place brand communication, communication geography and organizational communication. My focus is on the processual and constitutive nature of communication and how meanings of geographical locations and organizations are negotiated by actors in time and space. Another 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 (for example in branding processes). I am currently working in three interdisciplinary research projects on the significance of communication for social sustainability in cities (see below).

Selection of recent/ongoing research projects

Place brand communication

I have worked with, or am currently working with, the branding of cities, regions, and nations. The studies deal with place branding as an instance of strategic communication and examine place branding strategies by means of cultural and practice-based approaches. I conduct research in two projects connected to United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11 on urban sustainability. The projects explore the role of place brands and strategic communication for achieving environmentally and socially sustainable urban environments.

The first project deals with new forms of collaboration in the retail sector for constructing safe urban environments. The project focuses on the role of retailers in five urban areas with high levels of violence and crime in Sweden. The project is funded by the Swedish Retail and Wholesale Council during two years. 

The second project "Rethinking urban tourism development: dealing with sustainability in the age of overtourism” deals with how strategic communication can mitigate conflicts between tourists and locals in cities that suffers from overtourism, and the role of media in the era of overconsumption. As part of this project, I am also researching how place brand communication can be used to generate new narratives of city that will drive sustainable change and contribute to resilient communities. The project is funded by Formas during four years.

Sharing economy and the digital city 

The research project follows the process of digitizing services for increased citizen participation in a municipality. The project is funded by Plattformen, Helsingborg city and is conducted together with Mia Larson at the Department of Service Management and Service Studies, Lund University. Together with Larson I also studied the development and visualization process of a digital sharing platform in adventure tourism (funded by BFUF, 2016–2018).

Visual social media in organizational communication

The project examines social norms and conventions of how non-strategic actors (eg employees, citizens, consumers) shape images of organizations with weak brand reputations on the visual platform Instagram. The research is carried out together with Åsa Thelander (ISK) and has had various financiers.


At present I am involved in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching within the following subject areas: qualitative methods, digital marketing communication, brand communication. I also supervise undergraduate and postgraduate theses. Between 2016-2019, I was the director of undergraduate programs, BSc in Strategic communication and BSc in Strategic communication and digital media. 

Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education and associate status with the Higher Education Academy, UK, since 2011.

UKÄ subject classification

  • Social Sciences


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


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