Twin Cities - Reconstruction and Reconciliation after 1945

deadline for submissions: 
January 20, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Tom Allbeson & Christoph Laucht (Swansea University)

Call for ContributionsSpecial Issue: ‘Twin Cities - Reconstruction and Reconciliation after 1945’ We are seeking to publish a special issue on the topic of twin cities in the postwar period. We made initial contact with Urban History, which would be our preferred journal for this research. Deadline for Abstracts: 20 January 2017 Twinships between cities have long played an important role in transnational relations, taking different forms that include school exchange programmes, economic links, sports competitions or cultural events such as theatre performances, food festivals or Christmas markets. Shortly after the end of the Second World War, cities in the former enemy nations contributed to an emerging process of reconciliation by forging ties between municipalities in Germany, Italy and Japan and their British, French and American counterparts. During the Cold War, cities from across the two blocs formed partnerships in an attempt to further the understanding between East and West. And in organizations such as International Cities for Peace or Mayors for Peace city officials engaged in peace campaigning. Yet, twin cities have so far received relatively little interest from urban historians. While there have been some studies of particular twin cities such as Dresden and Coventry or Birmingham and Frankfurt or partnerships between cities in divided Germany during the Cold War, no broader conceptual attempt has yet been made to explore the place and significance of twin cities in urban history, the ways in which these partnerships manifested themselves socially and culturally, and the relation between the reconstruction of devastated urban centres and postwar reconciliation after 1945. The proposed special issue on ‘Twin Cities: Reconstruction and Reconciliation after 1945’, thus, sets out to shed more light on this pivotal, yet neglected area of urban history. Through a set of case studies, it seeks to explore different facets and varieties of partnerships between cities with particular reference to the process of reconciliation that occurred during the postwar reconstruction of cities after 1945. We invite contributors to address a range of questions and areas relevant to twin cities, including: in what ways did the postwar construction of international city partnerships relate to the postwar reconstruction of urban centres? To what extent did relations between twin cities reflect larger trends in international relations? How did partnerships between cities in Germany, Italy and Japan, on the one hand, and urbanities in Britain, France and the United States, on the other, shape the agendas and serve the purposes of reconciliation between former foes? What role have twin cities played in the memorialization of the Second World Wars? How did municipal officials and civil servants organize themselves nationally and transnationally to form networks campaigning for peace and reconciliation? What were the most successful foundations (e.g. economic, social, cultural, educational) of twin city partnerships? Submission Details: Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words and full contact details to both Dr Tom Allbeson ( and Dr Christoph Laucht ( by 20 January 2017. We aim to invite approximately 7 contributors to submit original research articles of 8,000 words in January 2018. These will be subject to the journal’s peer review process. Guest Editors: Dr Tom Allbeson,Lecturer in Modern History, Department of History, Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea, SA2 8PPEmail: Dr Christoph Laucht, FRHistS, FHEASenior Lecturer in Modern History, Department of History, Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea, SA2 8PPEmail: