University of Chicago, United States
This article examines factors affecting Korean local governments to be connected through sister/friend city agreements. I argue that cities strive to have a cooperative relationship primarily because “sisterhood” and “friendship” among cities have become a trend that has become hardly inevitable. Using a combination of event history analysis and network analysis, this study finds empirical support for that claim. The pursuit of interdependence among cities gets reinforced when their neighbors join the bandwagon, while they look for twinning partners afar. In adopting a sister/friend city program, these regional pressures from neighborhood have a greater effect on local governments than other substantive factors such as their own capacity and urban development. Ultimately, this article raises questions about organizational susceptibility to peer pressure and its influences on policy effectiveness of the sibling relationships among local governments.