- Partnerships between Dutch municipalities and municipalities in countries of migration to the Netherlands; knowledge exchange and mutuality
- Habitat International
- Volume | Issue number
- 33 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
In recent years a growing number of Dutch municipalities have established relations with local governments in the countries of migration to the Netherlands (e.g. Turkey, Suriname and Morocco). In addition to strengthening local governance and improving service delivery in the partner municipalities, Dutch local governments aim to contribute to the integration of citizens of migrant origin within their municipality, and/or further economic interests. Since transnational ties already exist between Dutch citizens and the municipalities' partner countries, (new) partners in the twinning relation inactive in international cooperation earlier, can be involved. In the literature on city-to-city partnerships, mutuality is considered an aim of most municipalities but ‘benefits’ for municipalities in the North remain unclear in practice, and the notion of mutuality is generally not explicit. This paper raises the questions whether cooperation has led to new partnerships, whether the focus on migrant countries has led to changes in the types of knowledge exchanged, the forms and processes through which this happens, and whether it has produced knowledge and policy approaches based on mutuality. Types of knowledge range from tacit knowledge, embedded knowledge based on experience (technical/cultural), and more ‘universally codified’ knowledge. The paper is based on interviews among Dutch municipalities carried out from February-August 2007. It concludes with a framework for researching city-to-city partnerships, including both locations in the partnership.
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