The international role of cities: Decentralized cooperation between domestic concerns and symbolic politics

“The term decentralized cooperation emerged in the 1980s associated with mutual relations between municipal twinnings. Since then the concept of decentralized cooperation han been continuously evolving and today seems to merge two parent fields: development cooperation and international municipal relations. However, thus far it is still veiled which are the motivations the engage European cities to adopt a decentralized cooperation policy. This tesis carried out a thorough study and analysis of these motivations and demostrate that behind any international aid program including decentralized cooperation, self interest aspects prevail. In other words, most of the donor´s assistance is ultimately driven by selfish stimulus that can be manifested in different ways. This claim is based on a comparative analysis among the decentralized cooperation activities of Rome and Madrid.”