Transnational city-to-city cooperation: Issues arising from theory and practice

“The notion on “”partnership”” recieves wide attention in this special issue: there is a continous tension in viewing North-South C2C as mechanism of equal, horizontal exchange versus just another form of the traditional model of aid flowing from North to South. While the former implies learning and knowledge exhange that benefits each partner, which is popular rhetoric among C2C practitioners, the latter questions such reciprocity since unilateral flows of resources, technical knowledge and expertise from North to South appear to be often reality, at least at first sight. There is a need to asses the real impact of municipal partnership with regard to shared learning and benefits, without neglecting donors intentions to employ C2C partnerships as instruments for local public sector capacity building in the South. This special issue aim to contribute to responding to such questions and to the growing academic and practitioner interest in city-to-city cooperation in general. Three subjects are particular interest: the current dynamics and trends in C2C policy and practice, the role of C2C in local government capacity building and urban governance strengthening, and the notions of learning, knowledge and mutuality in North-South municipal partnerships.”