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DAFF 2915A - City Diplomacy. The Rising Role of Cities in International Relations

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


A basic knowledge of international relations

Course Description

People, ideas, money, goods and services circulate in a global network whose hotspots are represented by cities. Across today's highly globalized world, cities are the undisputed cradles of innovation, research, creativity, wealth and entrepreneurship, while being on the frontline of substantial economic, social and cultural challenges. Over the last few decades, a growing number of diverse municipalities from all over the world have consequently risen as key actors of international relations. From economic, cultural and scientific cooperation to sustainable development and humanitarian assistance, cities - and their transnational networks - have been deploying informal and flexible, yet effective tools of diplomacy. The course will provide students with an in-depth understanding of city diplomacy's scope and ongoing challenges through the analysis of its features and goals, with a focus on a selection of case studies


KIHLGREN GRANDI, Lorenzo (PhD, territories society development)

Course validation

Students will be assessed as follows: - Class participation (10%) - 1 presentation in small groups (30%) - 1 paper (30%) - 1 final written exam (30%).

Required reading

Acuto, M. (2013), Global Cities, Governance and Diplomacy. The Urban Link, London, Routledge.

Additional required reading

  • La Pira, G. (2015), Le città non vogliono morire - The cities do not want to die, Florence, Edizioni Polistampa
  • Musch, A. et al. (eds.) (2008), City diplomacy: the role of local governments in conflict prevention, peace-building, post-conflict reconstruction, The Hague, VNG international, at
  • Kihlgren Grandi, L. and Sottilotta, C. E. (2015), The Cross-National Coordination of Urban Food Policies in the Euro-Mediterranean Region: the Urban Food Policy Pact Initiative as a Model for Enhanced Food Security in the South Mediterranean Region, in Building Sustainable Agriculture for Food Security in the Euro-Mediterranean Region, Rome, Edizioni Nuova Cultura, at
  • Sassen, S. (2012), Cities in a World Economy, 4th ed., Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage/Pine Forge Press.
  • Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments, Local and regional governments. An organized constituency, ready to contribute, at
  • UNESCO (2016), Creative Cities for Sustainable Development,