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City Diplomacy: Towards More Strategic Networking? Learning with WHO Healthy Cities

Acuto, M; Morissette, M; Tsouros, A; (2016) City Diplomacy: Towards More Strategic Networking? Learning with WHO Healthy Cities. Global Policy , 8 (1) pp. 14-22. 10.1111/1758-5899.12382. Green open access

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Abstract

Cities are increasingly capturing the attention of major international actors and now regularly feature in multilateral processes. Yet while there are many studies on networking among cities, there have been few studies of 'city networks' as formal and institutionalized governance structures facilitating city-to-city and city-to-other actors cooperation, or 'city diplomacy'. Institutionalized networks of cities, while not new, are becoming a growing presence on the international scene, almost omnipresent and perhaps even too common. Might it be time for a 'Darwinian' selection between city networking options? Diving deeper into this networked challenge, this essay focuses on the effects this networked diplomacy and overlap it might have on cities. Drawing on a research collaboration between the UCL City Leadership Laboratory at University College London and the World Health Organization's Healthy Cities Network and both a global dataset of city networks as well as qualitative focus group data, we consider the growth of these governance structures, their strengths, but also the weaknesses associated with their rapid growth, and how cities can engage with this networked landscape more strategically. In short, we argue that the potential of city networks must go hand-in-hand with more integrative and strategic thinking at both local and international levels.

Type: Article
Title: City Diplomacy: Towards More Strategic Networking? Learning with WHO Healthy Cities
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/1758-5899.12382
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1758-5899.12382
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 The Authors Global Policy published by Durham University and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > STEaPP
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1531214
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