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Productive European cooperation between Britain and Germany: the Swansea-Mannheim town twinning partnership and exchanges between Wales and Baden-Württemberg, 1950-2000

Simon John Orcid Logo

Contemporary British History, Volume: 36, Issue: 4, Pages: 1 - 39

Swansea University Author: Simon John Orcid Logo

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Abstract

This article investigates the town twinning partnership between Swansea (South Wales) and Mannheim (Baden-Württemberg, Germany) from its inception in the 1950s to the end of the twentieth century. Its findings contribute to scholarship on post-1945 European town twinning, a subject that has not rece...

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Published in: Contemporary British History
ISSN: 1361-9462 1743-7997
Published: Informa UK Limited 2022
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa59762
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Abstract: This article investigates the town twinning partnership between Swansea (South Wales) and Mannheim (Baden-Württemberg, Germany) from its inception in the 1950s to the end of the twentieth century. Its findings contribute to scholarship on post-1945 European town twinning, a subject that has not received the attention it deserves, especially from academics working in Britain. The article’s arguments also complicate wider debates surrounding post-war popular relations between Britain and Germany, which have often been cast in existing work as ambivalent or outright hostile. The article adopts a regional approach – emphasising interactions between Wales and Baden-Württemberg rather than at the national level – to offer a new perspective on international relations between Britain and Germany, showing that inhabitants of Swansea and Mannheim forged warm friendships and made efforts to understand each other. The article also highlights the limitations of purely Anglocentric approaches to modern British history, drawing from interactions carried out under the aegis of the Swansea-Mannheim partnership to trace ways in which Welsh identity and the Welsh language shaped external perceptions of the British.
Keywords: Town twinning; British-German relations; Wales; Baden-Württemberg; Swansea; Mannheim; Germany
College: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Issue: 4
Start Page: 1
End Page: 39