New Publication: Citizen or City Diplomacy?

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:

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 Harrison and Huang ask whether twinning is a quaint but outdated concept or a viable modern strategy for enhancing Canada-Asia and international relations in general?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:

New Website Launch

News release

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 “being in danger of extinction.” 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. 

For inquiries:

Dr. Kanako Uzawa, Founder


Invisible Indigenous Descendants in Hokkaido, Japan

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:

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.