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Urban ‘Foreign Policy’ and Domestic Dilemmas in Swiss and European City Regions


van der Heiden, N (2007). Urban ‘Foreign Policy’ and Domestic Dilemmas in Swiss and European City Regions. In: ECPR General Conference, Pisa, 6 September 2007 - 8 September 2007, 19pp.

Abstract

Transnational city-cooperation is pursued as a means of strengthening a city region’s position in the face of global pressures, where the capacity to ‘jump scales’ is believed to widen the room for manoeuvre. According to the rescaling literature, international activities of city regions, which are currently mushrooming at a global and especially European scale, can be seen as a major vector for city region’s strategies to strengthen their bargaining position in the international marketplace. We therefore analyzed the international activities of five Swiss agglomerations (Zurich, Lucerne, Berne, Lausanne, Geneva), as well as of two European city regions (Stuttgart and Lyon). We show that both the intensity and the content of the international activities are dependent of the economic vulnerability of a city region. Additionally, the EU plays a major role in promoting these networks. The combination of these two factors explains the relative reluctance of the Swiss city regions in this area, whereas the two European cases are clear examples for the increasingly perceived necessity to become engaged in transnational city cooperation in order to stay competitive in the international marketplace.

Transnational city-cooperation is pursued as a means of strengthening a city region’s position in the face of global pressures, where the capacity to ‘jump scales’ is believed to widen the room for manoeuvre. According to the rescaling literature, international activities of city regions, which are currently mushrooming at a global and especially European scale, can be seen as a major vector for city region’s strategies to strengthen their bargaining position in the international marketplace. We therefore analyzed the international activities of five Swiss agglomerations (Zurich, Lucerne, Berne, Lausanne, Geneva), as well as of two European city regions (Stuttgart and Lyon). We show that both the intensity and the content of the international activities are dependent of the economic vulnerability of a city region. Additionally, the EU plays a major role in promoting these networks. The combination of these two factors explains the relative reluctance of the Swiss city regions in this area, whereas the two European cases are clear examples for the increasingly perceived necessity to become engaged in transnational city cooperation in order to stay competitive in the international marketplace.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Language:English
Event End Date:8 September 2007
Deposited On:02 Mar 2011 13:56
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:50
Related URLs:http://www.ecprnet.eu/documents/pisa_programme_07_final.pdf (Organisation)
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-46772

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