International Organizations and Cities

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International institutions are increasingly recognizing that cities serve an important role in solving transnational problems, and that cities and international organizations need to work more together. Cities are asserting themselves more and more internationally, pushing their policy preferences and demanding a seat at the table. The moves toward implementing urban-IO collaboration are growing, but the state-centered structure of the international system has impeded such efforts. This chapter will explore the trends that have led international organizations to focus on cities and those that have led cities to look to international organizations. It will then examine the type of city-centric work that international organizations engage in and the types of contingent connections and alliances that exist between organizations and cities. Finally, it will suggest that a shadow system has emerged that allows cities and international organizations to interact and cooperate within an international framework that was not designed for such relations.


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