City-Twinning in International Relations Theory: Escaping the Confines of the Ordinary
This article sets out to explore the analytical utility of city-twinning for International Relations theory. It does so by recognizing twinning as a relevant category to be explored despite of being part of the “low” rather than the “high,” its inherently ambivalent nature as well as the leaning on some rather unconventional constitutive claims with twinning resting on togetherness and similarity that transcends national borders. In essence, it disrupts crucial foundational claims integrally part of traditional IR theory and invites for the exploring of alternative avenues as well as the testing of the applicability of various new conceptual departures needed in accounting for what has ordinarily fallen between the dichotomies and clean-cut categories part of those theories. The interrogation does not lean on alignment with any particular strand of IR theory, although some avenues such as those provided by the concepts of marginality, liminality and hybridity are probed as departures that might over time facilitate the integration of twinning into IR theory.