The Art of international Friendship: Exploring Twining in a Global Age
Lead Researcher: Dr Holly Ryan
Funding Agency: Economic and Social Research Council
At a time when social fragmentation and cultural polarisation appear to be on the rise, this research project seeks to advance and improve on academic and practical understandings of ‘international friendship’ by focusing on alternative drivers such as solidarity, empathy, artistic production and inter-cultural exchange. In particular, by weaving together concepts and methods drawn from International Relations, Social Movement Studies, and Aesthetics, it aims to generate new insights into how cross-border ‘friendships’ are formed, valued and maintained by state and non-state actors operating across the local, national and international levels.It seeks to:
- To generate new qualitative data on the civic, social and cultural value of town twinning.
- To rethink and revise the concept of ‘international friendship’ as deployed by scholars in the field of International Relations.
- To analyse neglected dimensions of twinning practice, including ‘public service twinning’ and ‘solidarity twinning’