In our last blog post, we highlighted a larger study that Dr. Acuto and Ben Leffel produced from work commissioned by the UK Government for Science. Here, we are sharing another review that was also produced under that commissioned work. Michele Acuto, Mika Morissette, Dan Chan, and Ben Leffel co- author this work as a part of the larger Foresight Future of Cities Project and discuss the critical impact that global cities are having on the international level.
Make sure to read the full review here: City Diplomacy and Twinning-Lessons from the UK-China-and-Globally
“This report was commissioned by the Foresight Future of Cities Project within the UK Government Office for Science and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to provide a systematic analysis of the most important forms of international involvement by global cities today and how these manifest in China and in the UK. Analysis and literature review was conducted by the City Leadership Initiative (CLI) at University College London in collaboration with researchers in China and the United States. We discuss in particular twinning, how it has evolved to be more strategic, and how, hand in hand with this evolution, comes a parallel development of ‘city networks’. Investigating this broader landscape of international relations by UK and Chinese cities (i.e. ‘city diplomacy’), we highlight the major shapes and impacts of these networking activities. Drawing parallels with the broader landscape of city diplomacy and international comparators, we consider how this applies to China and to the UK, including the role of the central government and national city networks in structuring this. We base this report on evidence based taken from urban studies and international relations literature and on independent research conducted on 42 cities across the world, including second-tier cities in China and the UK.”