Actually existing comparative urbanism: Iimitation and cosmopolitanism in North-South interurban partnerships.
Urban Geography, 33, (6), . (doi:10.2747/0272-36184.108.40.2066).
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There is a renewed interest in comparative urbanism among human geographers. There is also a renewed interest in comparative urbanism among urban policy practitioners. This latter ‘new comparative urbanism’ is identified in the paper as ‘actually existing comparative urbanism’ and outlined using existing literatures on municipal internationalism and urban policy mobilities, in addition to empirical material from a research project on interurban partnerships involving British cities. A brief history of these partnerships is provided that focuses in particular on North-South interurban partnerships so as to engage with the concerns of postcolonial Urban Studies. The main argument developed is that policy transfer in such relationships has been overwhelmingly from North to South and that economic and democratic rationalities among northern participants go some way towards explaining this pattern of ‘imitative urbanism’. The paper concludes by considering prospects for a more cosmopolitan urbanism
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