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Twinning and internationalism

Two reports on Coventry's twinning movement have appeared in the Guardian newspaper. The first provides a historical background:

Baker, T. (2016) A tale of twin cities: how Coventry and Stalingrad invented the concept, Guardian, 4 March 2016. [online]

The second is a more recent article looking at informal exchanges that have developed, in part in reaction to the Brexit debate, and which have been facilitated by online communication:

Burke, C. (2019) 'Brexit won't influence our friendship': workers in twinned towns on their parallel lives, Guardian, Monday, 19 August, 2019. [online]

Meanwhile, this report, commissioned by the British Council, looks at Coventry as an international city:

Roy, V. and Thompson-Goodwin, C. (2019) Coventry – A baseline of the city’s international profile, connectivity, capacity and outlook. For the report click here.

Taking a wider perspective, an article in The Conversation looks at Twinning at a time of political turbulence:

Ryan, H. (2020) Brexit has made town twinning a battleground – but it's always been [online]

The author Holly Ryan is (this is 2020) leading an ESRC project on twinning in Britain and has a project site at
Within this site is a reflection on digital twinning at
And there is a final report from this project which can be accessed here.

Academic reporting on twinning can be heavy going but here goes:
Zelinsky gives a useful historical picture of twinning on a global scale:
Zelinsky, W. (1991) The twinning of the world: sister cities in geographic and historical perspective, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 81, 1: 1-31.
For a British perspective, if you are a fan of political geography, you might be interested in papers by Nick Clarke. Try:
Clarke, N. (2009) In what sense ‘spaces of neoliberalism’? The new localism, the new politics of scale, and town twinning. Political Geography, 28(8), 496-507.
Clarke, N. (2011) Globalising care? Town twinning in Britain since 1945. Geoforum, 42,1:115-125.
A more descriptive paper by the author uses archive material to explore the impetus for twinning after the second world war.
Clarke, N. (2010) Town twinning in Cold-War Britain: (Dis)continuities in Twentieth-Century Municipal Internationalism, Contemporary British History, 24, 2: 173-191.
There is increasing interest from political scientists in the diverse networking that goes on between cities, extending far beyond twinning arrangements. For example, Michelle Acuto has written several papers including:
Morissette, M. and Tsouros, A. (2017) City diplomacy: Towards more strategic networking? Learning with WHO Healthy Cities. Global Policy, 8, 1: 14-22.
While Michael Laguerre has explored how these new networks are supported by technology - though in our view the text is particularly heavy going:

Laguerre, M. S. (2019). Global City-Twinning in the Digital Age. Michigan: University of Michigan Press.