Baker Scholar Projects


“A Tale of Twinned Cities”: A Comparative Analysis to Predict Potential Twinning on the US-Mexico Border

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Twinning is an official agreement between two cities separated by an international boundary which share cultural or economic ties. Scholarship on twinning primarily focuses on European cases of cross-border integration. Twinning involves a set of border related policies which aim to reduce the physical impact of the border and integrated communities economically, culturally, and socially. The potential for twinning on the US-Mexico border remains an understudied, yet contested question. Some researchers argue US and Mexican cities developed separately and cannot officially integrate. However, this research is limited, as no data set exists allowing for broader analysis. This paper asks where and under what conditions could official twinned relationships emerge on the US-Mexico border? I build a novel data set of European twinned cities and potential twinned cities on the US-Mexico border. I then determine key characteristics associated with the economic, cultural, and political conditions that are conducive to engaging in official twinned relationships. I then estimate the likelihood of twinned relationships at different locations on the US-Mexico borders.

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