Cities in the Shadows of International Institutional Law

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International organizations have become more interested in working with cities, and cities have become more interested in working with international organizations. The motivations of each are largely the same and straightforward: the mutual conclusion that certain issues require global coordinated action and that such action can only be fully and successfully accomplished by working at and with the local level. International organizations, especially their leaders and staff, now recognise that their success requires, at the very least, the assistance of local authorities, and they believe, counter to the default rules and assumptions of the international system, that the interface between organizations and cities often works best when it is direct and unmediated by national authorities. As more and more global problems are sourced to cities, for international organizations cities have become obvious and sometimes even optimal partners for both functional and legitimacy reasons. For their part, cities have come to appreciate that global processes have local effects, and they have therefore sought influence in and the assistance of international organizations.


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