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Research project

Town twinning in Britain since 1945: Producing proximities

  • Lead researcher:
  • Research funder:
    Nuffield Foundation
  • Status:
    Not active

Project overview

This research project was funded by the Nuffield Foundation, led by Dr Nick Clarke of Geography at the University of Southampton, and was completed between October 2007 and September 2009.

The overall aim of the project was to produce a history and geography of town twinning in Britain since 1945. This aim translated into five objectives:

- to map the twinning links between British towns and their overseas counterparts
- to establish the various participants at the British end of these relationships
- to establish the various aims and objectives of these participants
- to establish the various activities and practices of these participants
- to use the history and geography of town twinning as a lens through which to view contemporary debates about globalisation, neoliberalisation, the politics of place, and the geography of care.

There were two phases to the research. In phase one, a broad overview of town twinning in Britain since 1945 was produced using existing data describing twinning links involving British communities, and interviews with representatives of national organisations such as the British Council, the Local Government Association, the Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign, and the United Kingdom One World Linking Association. In phase two, six case studies of (sets of) twinning links were undertaken using the archives of Town Twinning Associations and interviews with association members and other interested parties.


Lead researcher

Dr Nick Clarke

Associate Professor

Research interests

  • Political geography
  • Urban geography
  • Governance and citizenship
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