Functions of Transnational City Networks in Europe and Asia
Seoul National University EU Center Working Paper Series No. 2012-05
28 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2013
Date Written: December 13, 2012
Transnational City Networks (TCN) are organizations that facilitate the information exchange, cooperation and lobbying activities of cities from different countries - independent of the national level. We find TCN of regional as well as global scale. This paper compares the aims and goals of European and Asian networks, asking if there are significant differences between the two regions. While the European TCN are well covered by the literature, this paper delivers first empirical details on the Asian ones.
The paper develops a comparative analytical framework that draws mainly on the research with a European focus which showed that environmental goals are the main focus of the European TCN. Given the different level of economic development in the two regions, Asian networks are expected to show a strong focus on economic targets.
The comparative analysis explores to what extend we find multi-level governance structures in Asia, and what the main functions of the TCN are in both regions are. The paper shows that Sustainable Development is the common main goal and leitmotiv for urban development in both regions, and an in-depth analysis of the specific policy targets of the organisations reveals that environmental goals rank highest in both regions as well. There are differences in the operative goals, however, particularly concerning the function to represent their membership vis-à-vis third actors on the national and international level.
Keywords: Transnational organisations, networks, sustainable development, cities, multilevel governance, Europe, Asia
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