European cities in a networked world during the long 20th century

Shane Ewen, Michael Hebbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper we argue that the contemporary revival of European municipalism should be examined within the rich context of the 'long' 20th century and the many and varied links forged between municipalities across national borders. In the first two sections we trace the emergence of the networked European municipality from the ad hoc individual connections made during the final decades of the 19th century, through the golden age of municipal internationalism during the interwar years, to the intensive cross-national cooperation pursued in the aftermath of the Second World War. We argue that the historical experience of these municipal connections was an essential prerequisite of the long-term move towards the multilevel networking experienced by European municipalities today. In the final section we focus on Eurocities, the main European municipal lobby group since the late 1980s, to show how municipalities have continued to utilise networking as their main tool within a supranational Europe, in effect to reinvent themselves within a globalised postindustrial economy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-340
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironment & Planning C: Government & Policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


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