Diasporas as Actors in Urban Diplomacy

In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy
Antonio Alejo Associate Researcher, University of A Coruña (ESOMI) Coruña Spain

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Cities are becoming critical in governing global challenges, and urban policies are not seen as purely local realities. From critical diplomatic studies, this essay states that the notion of urban diplomacy has the possibility to distinguish itself by avoiding being a mere imitation of state/traditional diplomacy, and it allows an analytical path to identify a more inclusive perspective to involve resident foreigners in the design and implementation of a city’s foreign policy. This essay discusses the role of global human mobility in urban diplomacy and the foreign policy of cities from a deterritorialised perspective. The essay argues that diaspora organisations are relevant actors in designing and implementing cities’ foreign policy as part of inclusive urban diplomacy through their trans-local dynamics. Following a qualitative approach, the essay’s empirical bases are four socio-political experiences that show how Mexico City’s diaspora feeds trans-locally the everyday relationship between Mexico City and Chicago.

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