Country Stereotypes in Times of Crisis

Although this piece by economist Yanis Varoufakis is not directly linked to place branding, I find that it is an excellent account of how and why country stereotypes are produced, what the role of story-telling and of journalists is and what consequeces this may have.

Yanis Varoufakis

Over the past two years, the economic crisis that has engulfed Greece has also thrust me in front of the microphones and note pads of the myriad journalists who descended upon Athens to report on the unfolding drama. In this sense, I have not only been witnessing the evolution of Greece’s (and the eurozone’s) meltdown but also the struggle of the world’s media to make sense of it. In this article I summarise what I think are three important lessons to be drawn from this experience on behalf of journalists attempting to strike the difficult balance between (a) the need to produce stories that resonate with their editors, readers, audiences, viewers and (b) the almost infinite complexity of the underlying story. The three lessons that I want to focus on I shall refer to, respectively, as the error of generalisation, the fallacy of aggregation, and the perils of compartmentalisation

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About Ares

Ares Kalandides holds a PhD in Urban and Regional Studies from the National Technical University of Athens. He is the founder and CEO of Inpolis, an international consultancy based in Berlin, Germany and has implement several projects around the world. Ares teaches Urban Economics at the Technical University in Berlin and Metropolitan Studies at NYU Berlin.
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