Harrison, Scott Michael, & Huang, Quinton (2022). Citizen or City Diplomacy? Diplomatic Co-Production and the Middle Ground in Municipal Twinning Relationships, The Hague Journal of Diplomacy (published online ahead of print 2022). doi: https://doi.org/10.1163/1871191x-bja1012
Here is our description of this article available on Kudos
Since their early origins in the Cold War, municipalities worldwide have engaged with each other through twinning relationships, also called sister cities or friendship cities, to form cultural links and business ties, and promote educational exchange. Creating and maintaining these relationships requires both official city and citizen initiative and participation.
Scott Harrison and Quinton Huang, two researchers at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, a not-for-profit organization focused on Canada-Asia relations, have spent years examining global municipal twinning in Asia and the crossroads of Canada-Asia Pacific city twinning. Their work gets at the heart of how and why these networks form and their outcomes, benefits, and pitfalls. Harrison and Huang ask whether twinning is a quaint but outdated concept or a viable modern strategy for enhancing Canada-Asia and international relations in general?
Findings are drawn from 18 interviews with official and domestic society actors involved in Canadian twinning relations with China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. Using examples from Canada-Asia city twinning, this paper examines how cities and citizens work together and could better do so. Insights gleaned will inspire new approaches to designing and implementing twinning relationships and how cities and everyday citizens can work better together.
New Website Launch
June 16, 2021
AinuToday is the first English knowledge-sharing platform for an international audience to learn about contemporary Ainu voices, issues, and arts.
Dr. Kanako Uzawa founded AinuToday in 2021, supported people throughout the Ainu community and like-minded colleagues Dr. Scott Harrison, Sabra Harris (MA), and Michael J. Ioannides (MA), and Maria Victoria Diaz-Gonzalez. Dr. Uzawa is an Ainu scholar, advocate, and performer who engages with contemporary expressions and first-hand narratives of the Ainu people in Japan.
The Ainu are Indigenous people of Japan who were, and still are to some degree, considered â€œbeing in danger of extinction.â€ Until recently, most Ainu-related literature and activities were dominated by non-Ainu scholars, and little information about the everyday lives of the Ainu was available. This is changing as Ainu-created, initiated, and co-developed research, art, and policy is increasing.
AinuToday celebrates, contributes to, and highlights information about living Ainu and promotes forward-thinking, respectful and lively dialogue toward a better future. As the pandemic is making more people dependent on the internet for information and building community networks, AinuToday is a long overdue and well-timed initiative.
Dr. Kanako Uzawa, Founder
In March 2021, I had the pleasure of hosting Professor ISHIHARA Mai from the Centre for Ainu and Indigenous Studies at Hokkaido University to talk about “Invisible Indigenous Descendants in Hokkaido, Japan.” She also introduced her new book Autoethnography of Silence: The Story of the Pain of Silent Ainu and Their Care (Sapporo: Hokkaido University Press, Dec. 2020 [in Japanese]). Check out her talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2gq0e3Cqog
Thank you to these three organizations for making this event possible: the David Lam Centre at Simon Fraser University, the Centre for Ainu and Indigenous Studies at Hokkaido University, and the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.
This interview with Tristan Grunow for the Hokkaidō 150 podcast “[R]eviews international relations between Canada, Japan, and Northeast Asia from the perspective of Indigenous issues. We discuss Ainu-related ties between Canada and Japan, the Ainu perspective of diplomatic disputes between Japan and Russia, Ainu relations with minority groups in China, and issues arising from the recent bill recognizing Ainu as Indigenous” https://hokkaido150.transistor.fm/11
Other episodes of the HokkaidÅ 150 podcast can be found here: https://hokkaido150.transistor.fm/episodes
The related Meiji 150 podcast can be found here: https://meijiat150.arts.ubc.ca/podcast/
Facing numerous social and economic challenges, Japan in the twenty-first century faces uncertainty similar to that of the Meiji Era. Scott Harrison finds significant similarities between the two periods, and argues that Meiji style diplomacy, characterized by engagement with the external world and the development of alliances — particularly with the dominant or hegemonic powers of the time, are vital parts of protecting national interests. Without such outreach and global integration, he suggests, Japan’s domestic issues and international priorities will be much harder to address. Not only should countries and businesses around the world pay attention to how Japan addresses its contemporary challenges, but also, as the Meiji Era has shown, Japan may find many of the solutions to its issues from lessons learned around the world.
Click here for this chapter: “Meiji Inspired Diplomacy and Politics for Japan’s Future.” In Japan’s Future and a New Meiji Transformation: International Reflections. Ken S. Coates, et al., eds. London: Routledge, 2019.
Non-central governments in Canada have become increasingly active on the world stage, most notably in the Asia Pacific region. The scholarly works on Canada’s foreign policy in Asia tend to focus either on the federal government as the main actor or on the “other diplomacies” of non-governmental actors; little attention has been paid to the increasing role of non-central governments in Asia. This article, therefore, contributes to the discussion by documenting and evaluating Canadian provinces’ international activities in the Asia Pacific. It also situates these activities within Canada’s foreign policy in the region and assesses how important provinces have become in Canada’s Asia relations. This paper first reviews the literature on non-central governments and foreign policy to expose the key forces pushing and pulling Canadian provinces to be increasingly active internationally. It then details the provinces’ international activities in Asia, and locates them within Canada’s foreign policy in the region. Click here for the full-length article: “Canadian Provinces and Foreign Policy in Asia.” International Journal Vol.73, No.3 (2018): 429-448. Co-author with Charles Labrecque.
In this examination of Canada-Japan twinning relationships, Canada-Asia Agenda author Dr. Scott Harrison explores the value of these initiatives for building transpacific ties and overall gains in…click here to read more.
Pacific Partnerships: Connecting Indigenous People in Canada to Opportunities in Asia
In the lead up to the Nation 2 Nation Forum, held in Vancouver on March 30, 2017, BC Assembly of First Nations Acting Regional Chief Maureen Chapman stated: â€œAs the economic importance of the Asia Pacific grows, B.C. First Nations face significant opportunities for economic development partnerships.â€ Continue reading “Connecting Indigenous People in Canada to Opportunities in Asia”
The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada released “The Asia Factor in Atlantic Canada” project reports in April 2016 at an interactive roundtable in Halifax. This series of eight reports, available in English and French, focus on current and future opportunities and challenges for Atlantic Canadian companies’ engagement with Asian markets.
Ghost co-author to this editorial in the January 2016 issue of the Institute of Corporate Director’s Director Journal. It argues that:
“Boards must add Asian experience to capitalize on new global opportunities.
“‘Asia is not just the future, but the present’ is a refrain often heard but, regrettably, seldom acted upon by Canadian businesses. As a commodity-based economy, our approach to Asia has historically been driven by input demand and global prices. This approach needs to change. By 2030, Asia is projected to represent between 45 and 50 percent of the worldâ€™s GDP. With approximately 4.5 billion people expected to be living in the Asia Pacific by 2030, the region also will be home to 66 percent of the worldâ€™s middle class. The Canadian opportunity goes well beyond the demand for resources and we need to be prepared to better engage with the region. …”
Read the article…