Local Actions in a Global Context will consider how subnational jurisdictions (towns, cities, counties, and regionds) and other non-state actors use paradiplomacy to seek influence beyond their borders. As globalisation reduces the ability of national governments to independently implement effective policies, subnational jurisdictions are finding that sovereignty is no longer essential for entrance to the global stage. Local governments are using paradiplomacy and informal diplomacy to promote their interests internationally in areas like trade, culture, tourism, politics, and environment.
Paradiplomacy presents concerns as well as opportunities. Local governments may lack the vital skills and democratic structures to engage competently and responsibly in a global context. Subsidiarity and multilevel governance could also complicate international decision-making and reinforce disparities of wealth. This conference/retreat will consider the implications of subnational jurisdictions and non-state actors exercising foreign policy and how such actions could benefit and harm communities and the world at large. It will also explore the apparatuses of paradiplomacy (tourism offices, trade boards, etc.), network governance, and the nature of interactions between subnational jurisdictions and other actors.