This paper draws on a study of town twinning in Britain since 1945 to engage with narratives of ‘the new localism’ and ‘the new politics of scale’. It argues that town twinning is often used in technical assistance programmes such as the UK Government’s Know How Fund and various schemes of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum. ‘Fast policy’ is a concept that can be usefully applied to these programmes and the broader field of interurban networking, urban policy mobility, and policy transfer. Town twinning plays an active yet overlooked role in fast policy. <br/><br/>The paper also argues that town twinning is part of a longer history of bottom-up localism that includes the political arguments of John Stuart Mill, at least two moments of twentieth-century municipal internationalism, the municipal foreign policy movement of the 1980s, and the community development movement of the last three decades. This longer history suggests sources of localism other than statecraft, and problematises the conceptualisation of power and periodisation of history found in regulation theories of devolution
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