Conference: Twin Cities in Past and Present

Dates: 25 - 27 June 2015


Where: Manchester, United Kingdom

Conveners: Manchester Centre for Regional History

The  Manchester Centre for Regional History is delighted to host the Twin Cities in Past and Present Conference, Thursday 25th June to Saturday 27th June 2015.

The programme of speakers is now complete, and they are drawn from a wide variety of disciplines and will be exploring twin cities in many countries across the world.

Download the Twin Cities- Conference Programme

People wanting make additional papers available to delegates, though not to become formal speakers, are welcome to contact the organisers.

Twin Cities to embrace two sorts of relationship: either nearby urban entities that arise separately and then subsequently grow into each other; or nearby urban places which begin as single entities but are subsequently split into two by legal or other enactment, normally the imposition of an international (or occasionally federal state) border by international treaty.  Twin cities are interesting for their own sake – there are at least 90 popularly and/or legally so classified (ie 180 twinned urban places) across the world. They are also important because, in many respects, they anticipate and have even been superseded by relationships arising within and between entities in the now-ubiquitous conurbations (including tri-cities and quad-cities) of the present-day world.

The aim of the conference is to begin to explore  how and why twin cities arise historically, the circumstances under which they sometimes merge, and why they so often stay separate even though the reasons for continued separation may seem to have substantially faded;  the external relationships in terms of dominance, subordination or equality; and conflict, co-operation or indifference, that arise between twin cities in social, economic and political terms, and how these change over time in the wake of more general conurbanisation, interventions by national and/or state governments and other factors that might seem to erode urban autonomy;  how and to what extent means are formulated for negotiating or even controlling these relationships, and by whom – councils, civil associations, service deliverers, central/state governments et al; and  the internal impact upon each community of the other in a twin-city relationship in terms of identity and civic consciousness, institutions, social, economic and political structures.

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