Cities as Public Diplomacy Actors

This seminar examines the growing importance of neoliberal pivot within the emergence of city diplomacy, from Europe and North America.

About this event

This research seminar will examine the recent trend of city administrations as international actors of growing importance and thus the emergence city diplomacy. Using their expertise from Europe and North America, Amiri and Kihlgren Grandi will examine the neoliberal pivot within city diplomacy over the last thirty years arguing that, while opportunities for networking and investment may have improved, the ability of the city to act as an independent unit of foreign policy distinct from its parent state has been compromised. This is particularly important when it comes to the likelihood of cities to act morally on the international stage or simply to include moral principle within their outputs.

Our speakers:

Sohaela Amiri – University of Southern California

Sohaela Amiri is Research Associate at the University of Southern California’s Center on Public Diplomacy (CPD) and a PRGS Fellow at the RAND Corporation. Dr. Amiri’s research focuses on US city diplomacy as a contributor to US statecraft. She is the co-editor (with Efe Sevin) of the book City Diplomacy: Current Trends and Future Prospects (2020).

Lorenzo Kihlgren Grandi – Urban Flag and Sciences Po, Paris

Dr. Lorenzo Kihlgren Grandi is the director of the City Diplomacy Lab at Columbia Global Centers | Paris and a lecturer in City Diplomacy at Sciences Po – PSIA and École Polytechnique. He chairs Urban Flag and the Working Group on Globalization, Territories, and Integration at the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration (IASIA). Author of City Diplomacy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020), he holds a dual Ph.D. in Political Theory from École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) and Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali (LUISS).

Colin Alexander – Nottingham Trent University

Colin Alexander is Senior Lecturer in Political Communications at Nottingham Trent University, UK. His expertise surrounds the historical and contemporary international communications of Asian governments, with a particular interest in imperialism and north-south issues. He is the author of two monograph books: ‘China and Taiwan in Central America: Engaging Foreign Publics in Diplomacy’ (2014) and ‘Administering Colonialism and War’ (2019) and is the editor of The Frontiers of Public Diplomacy (2021).