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Decentralization, City Diplomacy and Sustainable Development Goals

Décentralisation, diplomatie des villes et objectifs du développement durable

Deuxième université internationale des Pluies

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Published on Monday, June 22, 2020


La diplomatie des villes représente aujourd’hui un défi intellectuel pour les théoriciens des relations internationales et d’une certaine manière pour tous ceux qui s’intéressent aux questions urbaines et éducatives. La diplomatie des villes incarne aussi la lisibilité que prend la décentralisation là où elle est mise en place. Cette dernière, lorsqu’elle touche à toute l'action publique, elle met en place une réforme qui conduit à de changements des pratiques à travers une soft révolution. Elle est supposée renforcer le pouvoir local pour concevoir un nouveau modèle de l'action publique dont la matérialisation fait appel à la diplomatie des villes. C’est d’ailleurs dans cette optique qu’il faille désormais analyser l’impact des objectifs du développement durable (ODD) dans les pays africains. La décentralisation via la diplomatie des villes peut mieux s’approprier des ODD. Il est pour cela important que les villes africaines s’arriment aux ODD. 


Institute of International Relations of Cameroon (IRIC)/Yaoundé

September 3 and 4, 2020


In collaboration with the University of Padova (Italy), the University of Douala (University Institute of Technology of Douala, Nkongsamba Institute of Fine Arts), the National Higher School of Public Works (ENSTP, Yaoundé, Cameroon), the Institute of International Relations of Cameroon (IRIC) of the University of Yaoundé II is organizing from 3 to 4 September 2020, an international multidisciplinary Colloquium on the theme "Decentralization, City Diplomacy and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)".

The colloquium will be held face-to-face in accordance with the norms of distance and online via webinar for speakers and participants who cannot be physically present in Yaoundé.

The works resulting from the first International Université des Pluies and published by Harmattan Editions will be presented at the opening of the colloquium.

Positioning of the colloquium

The colloquium is part of the tenth anniversary celebrations of the CA2D Master's program - International & Decentralized Cooperation, Humanitarian Action and Sustainable Development of the Institute of International Relations of Cameroon (IRIC) in cooperation with the University of Padova/Italy. The master's degree, which mobilizes Cameroonian and Italian teachers, has trained hundreds of young Africans in Humanitarian Action, Decentralized Cooperation and Environmental Management.

The colloquium is also an opportunity to bring together alumni of the master's program, scattered throughout the world where they positively stand out for their professionalism and expertise.

General context and problematic

International action with a diplomatic vocation is undergoing profound changes, particularly with the emergence of local governments and cities. There is increasing discussion of city diplomacy (Viltard.,2008, Viltard.,2010, Khadija.,2016, Duhaime.,2018), which is gradually finding its place in the theoretical field of international relations. City diplomacy is in a way a multifaceted phenomenon that is constantly being reinvented. It continues to enjoy a large margin of inventiveness (Gallet.,2005). Although it is still modest in practice, city diplomacy has great symbolic importance. It is a new manifestation and a good indicator of the evolution of international relations in a global context increasingly marked by strong decentralization. City diplomacy today represents an intellectual challenge for the theorists of international relations and, in a way, for all those interested in urban and educational issues.

City diplomacy also embodies the visibility of decentralization where it is implemented. The latter, when it affects all public action, sets up a reform that leads to changes in practices through a soft revolution. It is supposed to strengthen local power in order to design a new model of public action, the materialization of which involves city diplomacy. It is from this perspective that the impact of SDGs in African countries must now be analyzed. Decentralization through city diplomacy can better appropriate SDGs. This is why it is important for African cities to link up with SDGs.

The decentralization process under way in several African countries is forcing local governments to become more involved in city diplomacy. However, this should be done in coherence with Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development Goals. Thus, the symposium, based on the cross-cutting theme of "decentralization, city diplomacy and SDGs", explores all the issues that concern sustainable development at the local level. The colloquium constitutes a context for postcolonial reflection on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in African countries from the cities. The field experience and research work of former CA2D master students are welcome.

Thematic axes

The colloquium is open to contributions from the academic, institutional, professional and NGO sectors. Eight main thematic areas have been selected:

  • Axis 1: Experiences of sustainable cities in Africa.
  • Axis 2: Decentralization and city diplomacy.
  • Axis 3: Decentralization, humanitarian action and city diplomacy.
  • Axis 4: Decentralization, environmental management (waste management, wastewater management, sustainable mobility, debidonvilization, urban disorder, green spaces, access to drinking water, management of urban waterways, standardization, etc.) and city diplomacy.
  • Axis 5: Local public policies, SDGs and city diplomacy.
  • Axis 6: Decentralization, city diplomacy and education for sustainable development.
  • Axis 7: Decentralization, city diplomacy and intercultural education (for living together).
  • Axis 8 : Global health, decentralization and city diplomacy

Instructions to communicators

The various contributions will be in French or English.

Each oral contribution will be made in a thematic session and will last 15 minutes + 5 minutes of discussion.

Abstracts should be sent no later than 15 July 2020

to the following addresses michelelams86@gmail.com and wambolecourant@yahoo.fr

The abstract (of 300 words) will include: title, the focus of the chosen conference, the name of the author, a short biography and contact details (institution, function, postal address, tel, email), 5 keywords.

The summary highlights the study background, objectives, methodology and results. The text of the abstract should be in Office Word format, in Times New Roman font size 12. The proceedings of the conference will be promoted in the following way:

  • Publication of a collective work at Harmattan Editions, collection "Postcolonial studies of sus-tainable development" coordinated by ESOH ELAME, University of Padova.
  • Publication of a collective work at Editions ISTE, collection "développement des terri-toires " coordinated by Angela BARTHES, Aix-Marseille University - France.
  • Publication of a special issue on "Cities and Education for Sustainable Development" in the magazine Formazione & Insegnamento of the University of Venice.

Publication of a special issue on "city diplomacy" in the Cameroonian Journal of Interna-tional Studies (ISSN 2618-1487) of the Institute of International Relations of Cameroon.

Final articles must be received by October 15, 2020 at the latest.

Registration fees for face-to-face activities

Students: 5000 FCFA - Doctoral students 10000 FCFA, Teacher-researcher 20 000 FCFA, Representatives of Institutions, companies and other professionals 30 000 FCFA. Registration fees include: breakfast, coffee break, snacks and a congress kit.

Key dates to remember

  • July 15, 2020: Deadline for receipt of abstracts

  • July 25, 2020: Date of the decision of the Scientific Committee
  • July 30, 2020: Deadline for registration to the conference
  • 3 - 4 September 2020: International Colloquium
  • October 15, 2020: Deadline for submission of accepted papers.

Institutional coordinators of the Colloquium

  • Salomon EHETH, Director of the Cameroon Institute of International Relations (IRIC) Carmelo MAIORANA, DICEA/University of Padova.

Scientific Coordinator of the Colloquium

  • ESOH ELAME, University of Padova. Visiting Professor at the Institute of International Relations of Cameroon.

Steering Committee

The Association of students of the master CA2D,

  • Salomon EHETH,
  • DARJO Valérie,
  • Beatrice POMARO,
  • Carmelo MAIORANA,
  • Stéphane NGWANZA,
  • Marthe EYANGO
  • Epse ASSIRA,
  • Olga MBANG Epse WERIWOH,

Scientific Committee

  1. Salomon EHETH (IRIC /University of Yaoundé II), Cameroon
  2. ESOH ELAME, University of Padova/Italy
  3. Carmelo MAIORANA, University of Padova/Italy
  4. Vittorio COLIZZI, University of Rome Tor Vergata
  5. Laurent Charles BOYOMO ASSALA/ESSTIC/University of Yaoundé II
  6. Angela BARTHES, Aix-Marseille University - IUT – France.
  7. Georges NIKOLAOU, University of Patras, Greece.
  8. Georges SAWADOGO, University of Koudougou – Burkina Faso
  9. Alain Didier OLINGA (IRIC /University of Yaoundé II) – Cameroon
  10. Fatima FALL, Gaston Berger University, Saint Louis, Senegal
  11. Jacques ETAME, IUT/University of Douala
  12. ANGOUA NGUEA, Nkongsamba Institute of Fine Arts /University of Douala
  13. Pascal Charlemagne MESSANGA NYAMNDING (IRIC/University of Yaoundé II)
  14. Annie BEKA BEKA, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Libreville/Gabon
  15. Jean-Emmanuel PONDI (IRIC /University of Yaoundé II)/Cameroon
  16. Véronique-Solange OKOME BEKA, Ecole normale Supérieure de Libreville, Gabon
  17. MVOMO ELA (IRIC /University of Yaoundé II)/Cameroon
  18. Stéphane NGWANZA (IRIC /University of Yaoundé II)/Cameroon.
  19. Solange Kiki MVOUAKA (Ecole normale Supérieure de Libreville),
  20. Yves Paul MANDJEM (IRIC /University of Yaoundé II)/Cameroon
  21. Jean Marc LANGE, University of Montpellier
  22. Paul Elvic BATCHOM (IRIC /University of Yaoundé II)/Cameroon
  23. Donatien NGANGA KOUYA, Ecole Normale Supérieure de l’Enseignement Technique de Libreville/Cameroon
  24. Auguste EYENE ESSONO (Ecole normale Supérieure de Libreville),
  25. Anne Marilyse KOUADIO, Ecole Normale Supérieure d'Abidjan
  26. Didier MULNET, RéUnifEDD, FECODD
  27. Emmanuel WONYU (IRIC /University of Yaoundé II)
  28. Gabriel EBA EBE (IRIC /University of Yaoundé II)
  29. Maria Cristina LAVAGNOLO, University of Padova/Italy
  30. Rémy MBIDA MBIDA (IRIC /University of Yaoundé II)
  31. BOUNOUNG FOUDA (IRIC/University of Yaoundé II)
  32. Félicité OWONA MFEGUE (IRIC /University of Yaoundé II)
  33. Marthe EYANGO Epse ASSIRA, (IRIC /University of Yaoundé II)
  34. Olga MBANG Epse WERIWOH, (IRIC /University of Yaoundé II)
  35. Mireille MANGA EDIMO Epse EWANGUE (IRIC /University of Yaoundé II)

Secretariat of the Colloquium


Boissonade, J. (2015). La ville durable controversée. Les dynamiques urbaines dans le mouvement critique. Pétra (Editions).

Burgos-Vigna,  D.   (2010).  Démocratie   participative  et  attractivité  des   villes  en   Amérique latine. Mondes en développement, (1), 53-68.

Caron, P., & Châtaigner, J. M. (2017). Un défi pour la planète: les objectifs de développement durable en débat. Editions Quae.

Cassaigne, B. (2009). La ville durable. Revue Projet, (6), 78-83.

Dubois, O., & Van Criekingen, M. (2005). La “ville durable” contre les inégalités sociales? Compacité urbaine et gentrification à Bruxelles. Urbia: les cahiers du développement urbain durable, 2, 9-18

Duhaime, L. P. (2018). La légitimité internationale et nationale de l’action diplomatique des villes québécoises. Potentia: Journal of International Affairs, 9, 7-17.

Egil, F. (2015). Les Objectifs de développement durable, nouveau «palais de cristal»?. Politique africaine, (4), 99-120.

Elamé, E. (2017). La ville durable interculturelle. Editions L'Harmattan, 247 p.

Emelianoff, C. (1999). La ville durable, un modèle émergent: géoscopie du réseau européen des villes durables (Porto, Strasbourg, Gdansk) (Doctoral dissertation, Orléans).

Emelianoff, C. (2002). Comment définir une ville durable. Villes et développement durable. Des expériences à échanger, 3, 13-15.

Gallet, B. (2005). Les enjeux de la coopération décentralisée. Revue internationale et stratégique, (1), 61-70.

Goita M. (2005). Jeux de pouvoir entre les différents acteurs de la décentralisation en Afrique de l’Ouest. J.-L. Coll et J.-J. Guibbert (coord), L’aménagement au défi de la décentralisation en Afrique de l’Ouest, Presse Universitaire du Mirail, 113-134.

Levy, A. (2009). La «ville durable». Paradoxes et limites d'une doctrine d'urbanisme émergente. Esprit, (12), 136-153.

Mback, C. N. (2003). Démocratisation et décentralisation: Genèse et dynamiques comparés des processus de décentralisation en Afrique subsaharienne. KARTHALA Editions.

Pellaud, F. (2011). Pour une éducation au développement durable. Editions Quae.

Peyroux, E. (2016). Circulation des politiques urbaines et internationalisation des villes: la stratégie des relations internationales de Johannesburg. EchoGéo, (36).

Pondi, J. E. (2011). Repenser le développement à partir de l’Afrique. Yaoundé, Afrédit.

Raibaud, Y. (2015). Durable mais inégalitaire: la ville. Travail, genre et sociétés, (1), 29-47

Sawadogo, R. A., & Ouedraouo, K. D. (2001). L'état africain face à la décentralisation: la chaussure sur la tête. KARTHALA Editions.

Theys, J., & Emelianoff, C. (2001). Les contradictions de la ville durable. Le débat, (1), 122-135. Viltard, Y. (2008). Conceptualiser la «diplomatie des villes». Revue française de science politique, 58(3), 511-533.

Viltard, Y. (2010). Diplomatie des villes: collectivités territoriales et relations internationales. Politique étrangère, (3), 593-604.


  • Yaoundé, Cameroon


  • Wednesday, July 15, 2020


  • villes africaines, développement durable, diplomatie des villes, décentralisation


    courriel : esoh [dot] elame [at] dicea [dot] unipd [dot] it

Information source

    courriel : esoh [dot] elame [at] dicea [dot] unipd [dot] it


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Decentralization, City Diplomacy and Sustainable Development Goals », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Monday, June 22, 2020, https://doi.org/10.58079/151j

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