The Urban Response to Internationalization

The Urban Response to Internationalization

Peter Karl Kresl and Earl H. Fry

Three decades of accelerated trade and financial market liberalization have had significant and lasting impacts on the global economy and its component entities. In this volume, Peter Karl Kresl and Earl Fry examine the impacts of these profound changes on the economies of urban areas, and the responses to them. They provide a comprehensive treatment of the issues surrounding internationalization, such as urban transport, communication, and production. In addition, the authors explore the effects of internationalization on municipal foreign affairs, urban governance, inter-city relations and structures, and strategic planning.

Chapter 3: Municipal Foreign Affairs

Peter Karl Kresl and Earl H. Fry

Subjects: economics and finance, public sector economics, urban economics, urban and regional studies, urban economics, urban studies


Traditional international relations theory once inferred that relations among nations fell completely within the purview of national governments. Alas, this perception of international interactions is clearly outmoded and fails to reflect what is actually occurring in an era of globalization. At the beginning of 2004, there were 191 members of the United Nations. Almost all of these nation states have borders which are more permeable today than ever before, and all have local governments and local citizens who are tangibly affected by actions which transpire outside their nation states or decisions which are made by foreign governments and non-governmental actors. Only rarely can someone identify what is strictly ‘domestic policy’ and what is strictly ‘foreign policy’ because there is a growing overlap of these two arenas. Bayless Manning first coined the term ‘intermestic’ to describe policy that has both domestic and international dimensions, and the great bulk of all 21st century policy is intermestic.1 Bruce Bueno de Mesquita has recently advised specialists in international relations to shift ‘to an outlook that understands international affairs as a normal and routine aspect of ordinary domestic politics.’ He adds that ‘international relations is, simply put, a venue for politicians to gain or lose domestic political advantage. From this viewpoint, concepts such as the national interest, grand strategy, and international politics as a domain distinct from foreign and domestic calculations are troubling.’2 A former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Tip O’Neill of Massachusetts, repeatedly stressed that ‘all politics is local.’ One...

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