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Jaroslav Dvorak

Dr. Jaroslav Dvorak is Head of the Department of Public Administration and Political Sciences at Klaipeda University, Lithuania and has longstanding research experience in evidence-based public policy making. He has also prepared and published scientific publications on these subjects. Jaroslav Dvorak is the coordinator of the two study programs: Bachelor in Public Administration and Master in Regional Governance. Jaroslav Dvorak contributed to the preparation of the Inventory of the Public Administration profession for the Study Quality Assessment
Centre in Lithuania. He was visiting researcher atUppsala University (2017), Institute of Russian and Eurasian Studies, Sweden and visiting professor at Bialystok Technical University (2017), Poland. Jaroslav Dvorak is involved in the editorial board of international scientific journals. He has more than 100 publications. Currently he is working with different projects on participatory budgeting in Baltic states. He is Klaipeda University representative at Klaipeda region development council.

Transferring City Identity Through City Diplomacy: The Case of the Baltics

The current processes of urbanization and globalization have resulted in new challenges and opportunities (Stren, Friendly, 2017) for cities around the globe. Despite some people believing the current dawn of cities to be nothing more than the ‘new Medieval’ (Herrschel and Newman 2017), or, on the contrary, raising the question of whether the cities are the new states’ (OECD 2016), cities do play a significant role. They are the new actants (Acuto 2013) of global affairs and have led to the rise of quite a new phenomenon – city diplomacy.
Previous research and studies on city diplomacy might be divided into five categories, focusing on: (i) city-twinning; (ii) city networks and the possibilities they provide; (iii) the smart city concept; (iv) the impact of mayors on city diplomacy and the internationalization of cities; and (v) the broader topic of paradiplomacy. The statistical analysis reveals city diplomacy to be used for the cooperation of cities at horizontal level rather than for hierarchical diplomatic relations. Cities cooperate and collaborate with the aim of solving common self-governance problems, implementing common projects, and establishing long-term partnerships to share knowledge and competencies. It is not possible, however, to assert that the city diplomacy discourse is comprehensive while it mainly covers the world’s cities or large metropolitan areas, namely in the countries of the old or matured (Biswas and Ofori 2015) democracies (e.g., United States, Western European countries) that have longstanding democratic traditions warranted by democratic government, which can be achieved when a government fulfills its political responsibility and accountability by showing the capability to undertake institutional reform (Heo 2018). The rapidly changing world, however, has pushed to the forefront the countries of the young democracies (e.g., Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Czech Republic, South Korea, Indonesia, etc.) that have been undergoing or have recently undergone dynamic social, legal and political changes (Harasta 2013; Heo 2018).