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Montreal's twinning with Shanghai : a case study of urban diplomacy in the global economy

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Montreal's twinning with Shanghai : a case study of urban diplomacy in the global economy

Hsu, Yon (2003) Montreal's twinning with Shanghai : a case study of urban diplomacy in the global economy. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

It is an increasing trend that Canadian cities demand more of an international presence, and that municipalities are eager to form their own international policies relation to economic globalization. In this case, how do we understand urban international relations beyond the usual criticism that they merely serve local politicians' interests through exotic trips financed by taxpayers? Based on qualitative interviews, records in Montreal municipal archive and local newspapers, this research provides a case study of Montreal's sister-city relationship with Shanghai between 1985 and 2001 in order to shed light on how urban diplomacy is forged in the intertwined processes of international communication, global-local dynamics, intergovernmental relations and interpersonal communication. The research also contextualizes urban international relations in terms of structure and agency at local, regional and global levels. Montreal's twinning with Shanghai aimed at the "low" policy of diplomacy with the hopes of enhancing both cities' international connections and urban competitiveness. Seeking mutual help and advantages between Montreal and Shanghai was a municipal entrepreneurial strategy in response to the pressure, challenges and opportunities opened up in the global economy. These twinning objectives were not under the aegis of Quebec's international relations in searching for its distinctive political status, nor were they guided by a specific political ideology in hoping for the improvement of human rights in China. However, twinning does not occur in a political vacuum. This research further presents political problems and controversies surrounding the Montreal-Shanghai connection. First, the question is asked about the absence of a broad-based public participation in the twinning processes. Second, the concern is raised about the lack of an overt twinning agenda on human rights in China. A critical evaluation of both issues is given as a normative inquiry into the significance of urban international relations.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Hsu, Yon
Pagination:vi, 218 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph.D.)
Program:Dept. of Communication Studies
Date:2003
Thesis Supervisor(s):Buxton, William J
ID Code:2382
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:27
Last Modified:14 Dec 2012 16:38
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