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Author: Efe Sevin

Abstract

Cities are once again in the forefront of diplomatic activities. In this essay, I unpack a relatively understudied area within city diplomacy: the link between cities and countries. Although cities enjoy a heightened level of agency in the international arena, they do not exist in a vacuum. As substate actors, the actions of cities could impact their home countries. Using lessons learned from public diplomacy studies and situating soft power as a framework to describe such activities, I first present the changes in the diplomatic landscape that paved the way to resurgence of city diplomacy. Next, I propose a more inclusive definition of the activities of cities in the international arena. Last, I show the link between cities and countries.

In: Diplomatica

Abstract

This essay considers the phenomenon of British local authorities mobilizing to oppose the policies of apartheid in post-war South Africa. Activities include boycott, divestment, twinning agreements, media campaigns, and re-naming/memorialization. The activity is placed in the context of a transnational anti-apartheid network overseen by the United Nations organization. The campaign is shown to be inversely related the level of national government activity and especially associated with opposition to Margaret Thatcher and her government.

In: Diplomatica
In: Diplomatica

Abstract

City diplomacy has a long history and has witnessed a clear sprawl over the last century. Successive “generations” of city diplomacy approaches have emerged over this period, with a heyday of networked urban governance in the last two decades. The covid-19 pandemic crisis presents a key opportunity to contemplate the direction of city diplomacy amid global systemic disruptions, raising questions about the effectiveness of differing diplomatic styles across cities but also the prospect of a new generational shift. This essay traces the history of generations in city diplomacy, examines prospects for novel ways of understanding city diplomacy, and contemplates how the pandemic’s impact heralds not the demise of internationalization in urban governance but an era in which city diplomacy is even more crucial amid fundamental limitations.

In: Diplomatica

Abstract

During the candidacy and following the election of U.S. president Donald Trump, there was an emphasis on framing the Mexican immigrant as a criminal and on building a wall between the United States and Mexico. This narrative revived the debate on the treatment of immigrants and immigration in cross-national media. Within this context, this study analyzes the construction of the image of the Mexican migrant to the United States by both (former) President Enrique Peña Nieto and President Donald Trump during the first 100 days of the latter’s presidency, through news stories published in two U.S newspapers and two Mexican newspapers. Findings show that news stories describe Mexican migrants in contrasting ways, ranging from criminals (in the U.S. framing) to good migrants (in the Mexican efforts), and both frames are picked up by the transnational media, hindering long-standing public diplomacy efforts in both countries.

In: Diplomatica
Author: Deborah Cohn

Abstract

This essay examines the history of an academic certificate in American studies that was developed and implemented by Robert Spiller (University of Pennsylvania) at the behest of the US Information Agency, and targeted at non-US citizens outside of the US. The certificate’s genesis and trajectory were rooted in and inflected by contemporary interest in the field of American studies as offering a means of conducting cultural diplomacy by disseminating information about the US, its way of life, and the benefits offered by the democratic system. The history of the program, like that of the field as a whole, thus reveals how American studies assumed an ambassadorial role abroad for the nation in its new capacity as a world power. At the same time, it also shows the fault lines between the images of the nation that scholars and US officials sought to project, and what audiences abroad were most interested in knowing.

In: Diplomatica
Author: Louis Clerc

Abstract

Recent developments in the study of city diplomacies have kept small and mid-sized towns mostly outside of focus. This robs the field of an opportunity to consider the international activities of most cities and networks of cities, and deprives us from a reflection on the reasons why most cities would feel a need to develop their international outreach, and on the ways they would do it. Studying the city diplomacy of small cities reminds us of the depth of practices and of the variety of realities blanketed under the notion of city diplomacy – variety both in geographical but also in chronological terms. From the point of view of these small and mid-sized towns, city diplomacy appears subtly different than from the vintage point of great cities. This essay will reflect on this through the example of Turku, a mid-sized town in the Baltic Sea region. It aims to show that, in a field concentrated on big cities, studying mid-sized cities bring the same returns as studying small states: a wider understanding of the way foreign relations work on a daily basis.

In: Diplomatica

Abstract

This article examines the reactions of British and U.S. officials to the wave of anti-rearmament protests which erupted in West Germany in the early 1950s. It examines the discourse generated by these officials to argue that the West German protests were either encouraged or condemned by different diplomatic figures. Most officials blamed the Soviet Union for the dissent in Germany and called for widespread concessions to the German government to better calm the situation. Some officials, however, supported the protests and protesters and looked to use the demonstrations to argue for increased contact with the Soviet Union and a thawing of the Cold War. A lasting impact of this discussion was that the image of the German people began to change in the eyes of Western policy makers- with old stereotypes from the Second World War beginning to give way to a new appraisal of Germans as activists and pacifists.

In: Diplomatica