Cities are the primary building block of organized human existence. The concept of civilization – as its etymology suggests – rests on the phenomenon of the city and its distinctiveness from life lived beyond its walls. There has always been a powerful identification between a city and an individual inhabitant. It is the oldest bond in organized politics and hence appropriate that the term “citizen” should have been shared with the larger scale polities as they have emerged.
The mayor of South Korea's capital says he wants to take a more amicable approach to relations with North Korea after months of tensions going back to Pyongyang's fourth nuclear test in January. [...] The mayor's first proposal would improve the water quality of the Taedong River in Pyongyang and to make water infrastructure enhancements.
Torontonians will naturally be focussing on local issues like transit and taxes and when they go to the polls in October. But we should also spend some time thinking about how the candidates stack up when it comes to municipal diplomacy, the ability to make smart connections for Toronto in the wider world.
Confronted with the shortcomings of international political processes many scholars and diplomats have frequently turned to the non-governmental sphere in search of more practical action on global challenges. It is not uncommon to find today calls for global civil society engagement, public-private partnerships, and citizen diplomacy in almost all contexts of international relations.