The role of city twinning in fostering diplomacy: A case of city of Harare and city of Munich twinning arrangement (2000 -2015)
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City twinning arrangements have been viewed by quite a number of scholars as a way to go in the 21st Century in fostering diplomacy of the states. as such the study sought to unearth the role that city twinning arrangements played in fostering Zimbabwe’s diplomacy through a critical study of the twinning arrangements entered between City of Harare and City of Munich. The study at hand was critical in that at state bilateral level Zimbabwe and Germany were not in cordial terms at least from an international relations point of view. By virtue of German being a strategic and critical member of the European Union, she was obliged to honour the economic sanctions and a whole sale package of restrictive measures the 28-memeber bloc had slapped on Zimbabwe with the turning of the new millennium, on allegations of Zimbabwe’s blatant abuse of human rights especially at the height of its land reform programme of the post millennium. Confronted with a research problem on how the levels of demonisation and denigration at state level between Zimbabwe and any other European Union member state such as German could fair diplomatic manoeuvres, the researcher sought to assess the extent at which the Harare-Munich twinning arrangement managed to navigate and thaw the hostile relations that prevailed at the same time. Through the qualitative research approach, the researcher used documentary search and guided questionnaire research methodology to assess the extent at which twinning arrangements could foster diplomacy between Zimbabwe and German. Using a theoretical framework anchored on interdependency theory and the concept of soft power, it was realised that indeed city twinning could help in fostering diplomatic relations. Whereas states have remained and retained the sole legitimate role of being the primary actors of international relations, t was recommended that cities could still play a pivotal role in fostering diplomacy through complementing and not necessarily supplementing states in their diplomatic endeavours. As such the researcher highly recommended the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to strongly incorporate the Ministry of Local Government in harnessing diplomacy through riding on the crest of twinning arrangements entered by cities.