School of Business and Management

Professor Nicholas O'Shaughnessy

Nicholas

Professor of Communications

Email: n.j.oshaughnessy@qmul.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 7448
Room Number: Mile End, Bancroft Building, Room 3.36
Office Hours: Wednesday, 2pm-4pm

Profile

Student drop-in and feedback hours
Wednesday 2pm-4pm

I am Professor of Communication at Queen Mary, University of London, having previously been Professor of Marketing at Brunel University and Professor of Marketing and Communication at Keele. Quondam Fellow of Hughes Hall Cambridge, and University Lecturer in Marketing at Cambridge University (1989-2000). Over the last fifteen years, my work has broadened within and beyond an original focus on political marketing to graduate into related territories of polemic and propaganda, with emotion and symbolisation as the underlying constructs; and with a particular focus on such themes as the ethics of negative advertising and the rise of symbolic government. Ultimately the concern is with the ‘engineering of consent’- the troubling matter of how public opinion can be manufactured, and governments elected, via sophisticated methodologies of persuasion developed in the consumer economy. My perspective has always been that persuasion is the hidden hand of history, its core dynamic. And certainly it is the case that propaganda has become again an important part of our global public and civic discourse. Such research interests may in the past have seemed marginal, or even anachronistic, but that cannot be said to-day. In an era of Trump, the online ‘Jihad’, Russian troll farms, Cambridge Analytica, the politicization of social media, the menace of disinformation or ‘fake news’, my research agenda has the merit of contemporary resonance. Future research aims continue to lie in this utterly fascinating area.

Postgraduate Teaching

Social and Political Marketing (BUSM095)

Research

Research Interests:

Over the last fifteen years, my work has broadened within and beyond an original focus on political marketing to graduate into related territories of polemic and propaganda, with emotion and symbolisation as the underlying constructs; and with a particular focus on such themes as the ethics of negative advertising and the rise of symbolic government. Ultimately the concern is with the ‘engineering of consent’- the troubling matter of how public opinion can be manufactured, and governments elected, via sophisticated methodologies of persuasion developed in the consumer economy. My perspective has always been that persuasion is the hidden hand of history, its core dynamic. And certainly it is the case that propaganda has become again an important part of our global public and civic discourse. Such research interests may in the past have seemed marginal, or even anachronistic, but that cannot be said today. In an era of Trump, the online ‘Jihad’, Russian troll farms, Cambridge Analytica, the politicization of social media, the menace of disinformation or ‘fake news’, my research agenda has the merit of contemporary resonance. Future research aims to continue to lie in this utterly fascinating area. 

Professor O'Shaugnessy is currently a Member of the Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of Public Affairs, 2001-, Journal of Qualitative Marketing 2002-, Journal of Information Technology and Politics 2003-

Prof Nicholas O CV [DOC 125KB]

Publications

Recent books: 

  • Key Readings In Propaganda’ (with Paul Baines); four volumes, Sage London 2012 (November): Volume One: Historical origins, definition, changing nature. Volume Two: The psychology and sociology underpinning Propaganda. Volume Three: Propaganda in military and terrorism contexts. Volume Four: Advances and contemporary issues in Propaganda.
  • ‘Theory and Concepts in Political Marketing’ (With SCM Henneberg and R Ormrod), Sage London, April 2013. Chinese Edition, Wisdom and Truth Publishing, Beijing.
  • ‘Selling Hitler: Propaganda and the Nazi Brand’’. (Christopher Hurst, London, September 2016; distributed in the USA by Oxford University Press. 350 pages) has been stated by The Library Journal to be a best-seller in the European History category (April 2017). Recommended in ‘Best Books of 2016’ by Andrew Roberts, London Evening Standard. November 17 2016.
  • Marketing The Third Reich: Persuasion, Packaging and Propaganda’, Routledge Abingdon. 270 pages. September 18 2017. Endorsements from leading historian Professor Andrew Roberts, from Miles Young, Chairman of Ogilvy and Mather etc.
  • Handbook of Propaganda Research, Sage London 2019, with P Baines and Nancy Snow, thirty five chapters.

Recent journal articles: 

  • Positioning in political marketing: how semiotic analysis adds value to traditional survey approaches; Baines, Crawford, O’Shaughnessy, Worcester, Mortimore, Journal of Marketing Management Vol. 30 No 1-2 pp 172-200 2014.
  • Putin, Xi, And Hitler: propaganda and the paternity of pseudo democracy. Defence Strategic Communications (the official journal of NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence) Vol 2 Spring 2017.
  • The Politics of Consumption And the Consumption of PoliticsHow Authoritarian Regimes Shape Public Opinion By Using Consumer Marketing Tools. Journal of Advertising Research, June 2017, 57 (2).
  • Political Marketing: Throwing Away The Script: Donald Trump And The New Age of Rhetoric’. Special Issue on Rhetoric, Journal of Marketing Management, 2018. “Ultimately the concern is with the ‘engineering of consent’- the troubling matter of how public opinion can be manufactured, and governments elected, via sophisticated methodologies of persuasion developed in the consumer economy.”

Journal articles:

  • Baines PR, O'Shaughnessy NJ (2014) “Al-Qaeda messaging evolution and positioning, 1998–2008: Propaganda analysis revisited”, Public Relations Inquiry, 3(2): 163-191
  • Baines PR, O'Shaughnessy NJ (2014) “Political Marketing and Propaganda: Uses, Abuses, Misuses”, Journal of Political Marketing, 13(1): 1-18
  • Baines P, Crawford I, O'Shaughnessy N, Worcester R, Mortimore R (2014) “Positioning in political marketing: How semiotic analysis adds value to traditional survey approaches”, Journal of Marketing Management, 30(1): 172-200
  • ‘Service- Dominant Logic: A Rejoinder to Vargo and Lusch’, European Journal of Marketing (forthcoming) (with J.O’Shaughnessy)
  • The Dark Side of Political Marketing, Islamist Propaganda, Reversal Theory and British Muslims with Paul Baines et al, European Journal of Marketing.  V44  3/4  2010
  • ‘The Service-Dominant Perspective: A Backward Step’, with J. O’Shaughnessy, European Journal of Marketing 2009 Vol. 43 Issue 5/6 pp 784-797
  • “Selling Hitler: Propaganda and the Nazi Brand”, Journal of Public Affairs 9: 55-76 February 2009
  • 'Political Relationship Marketing: Some Micro-Macro Thoughts’. With S.C.M. Henneberg. Journal of Marketing Management 25 1-2  2009.
  • Political Marketing Management and Theories of Democracy (with Maggie Scammell and Stephan Henneberg), Marketing Theory Vol.9 (2) 2009.
  • Selling Terror: The Symbolization and Positioning of Jihad (with Paul Baines), Marketing Theory Volume 9 (2) (pp 207-221) 2009
  • 'Marketing, the Consumer Society and Hedonism', with J.O'S, European Journal of Marketing Vol 36 No 5/6 pp 524-547  August 2002, reprinted in Tadajewski and Brownlie, Eds,  Critical Marketing, Wiley 2008
  • The Selling of The President 2004: A Marketing Perspective’. With S.C.M. Henneberg, Journal of Public Affairs August 2007. Reprinted in D.Johnson (Ed.), the Routledge Handbook of Political Management, Routledge 2008
  •  “RAF and the Battle of Narratives”, Journal of Public Affairs 8; 1-7, 2008.
  • “Bush, Blair -and Hitler? A Review of Comparative Self-Presentation”. Journal of Public Affairs Vol 8 Number 4 November 2008 pp293-303.
  • 'Marketing, the Consumer Society and Hedonism', with J.O'S, European Journal of Marketing Vol 36 No 5/6 pp 524-547  August 2002.Reprinted in Tadajewski and Brownlie, Eds,  Critical Marketing, Wiley 2008
  • ‘Marketing, the Consumer Society and Hedonism: A Reply to Abela’, (with JO’S) European Journal of Marketing March 2007
  • Alpaca Consumption; A Reply to Cathi Mcmullen, Journal of Business Research, November 2007
  • ‘Attitudes to the Environment: An Empirical Investigation of Egyptian Consumers’, International Conference in Business Information Tokyo July 2007. Journal of Contemporary Management Vol. 5 No 1 March 2009 ; with P.Tantawi et al
  • Romancing Alpacas: A Commentary, N. O'Shaughnessy, Journal of Business Research, ISSN: 0148-2963,2007  
  • Response by A.V Abela, ‘Marketing and Consumerism: A Response to O’Shaughnessy and O’Shaughnessy’, European Journal of Marketing Vol 40 1/ 2 2006
  • 'Ways of Knowing And Their Applicability', with J.O'S, Marketing Theory Vol 2 No 2  2002 pp147-164
  • Towards an Ethical Framework for Political Marketing, N. O'Shaughnessy, Journal of Psychology and Marketing, 19(12): 1-16, ISSN: 0742-6046, 2002

Other Publications: