At first glance, a study on cities and foreign policy may seem a bold leap into the future of international relations, but it represents, rather, a giant step into the present—into what is already taking place across the country and around the world. Cities have become actors in international affairs; and American cities have not only been players on the world scene, but have been also deeply transformed in the process.
This book is the result of a four-year project of the Council on Foreign Relations, which has been studying new actors in international affairs: business, nongovernmental organizations, and certain regions and localities that now orient their "foreign" policy or actions somewhat independently from that of their central governments. Written by two notable experts in foreign and local policies, this book examines one of these new global actors that has drawn the least attention within policy-making circles and among the public: New York City.
As the United States' largest and most prominent international center, New York City is a good starting point for any examination of the extent to which cities have become significant actors in the global economy. Moreover, the issues and processes discussed--the restructuring of the economy, immigration, the internationalization of crime, the changing demands on, and functions of, social and civic institutions, the technological innovations that are revolutionizing how we live, do business, and form communities—represent fundamental challenges faced by cities and communities across the country. This is especially true at a time when many of the traditional functions of the central government are being privatized or decentralized.
A Council on Foreign Relations Book