The European Capital of Culture and Transnational Networks

Yi De Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In Europe, building transnational networks has become a crucial means for realizing bottom-up Europeanization and implementing the European Union (EU) policy at the grassroots. The value of transnational networks lies in clarifying political exchanges, decision making and policy transfer below the EU level. As a core element of the EU's cultural action, the European Capital of Culture (ECOC) is an important vehicle to promote transnational cooperation. However, whether in theory or practice, transnational networks among ECOC host cities have not received much attention from academia. Based on a qualitative meta-analysis, this study offers a holistic overview of the experiences of the ECOC programme over 40 years. It aims to answer two sets of research questions: (1) What types of transnational networks have been established among ECOCs? How do they operate? What functions do they have, and what are their impacts and limitations? (2) How do these transnational networks reflect the multilayered nature of European governance and the dynamics of Europeanization? Through this article, ECOC research can have a closer relationship with recent innovations in disciplines that are studying the EU's political and societal processes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Review
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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