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date: 24 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Mayors, local legislators, governors and other subnational elected officials have traditionally engaged in paradiplomatic international activities for their own trade promotion and economic development through city-to-city exchanges, business study groups, and youth exchanges. With urbanization and the decentralization of political and administrative structures along with a deepening liberal order, there is a new uprising of city actors pursuing paradiplomacy. Defined as local activities that have a global public policy impact, they include, for example, subnational actors’ involvement in climate change and other environmental issues affecting cities. Subnational global engagement can challenge national diplomatic efforts, while at the same time may also increase the administrative and management burden of cities. This chapter provides a historical and conceptual frame for understanding the rise of subnational actors in global policy, their main motivation and functional roles, and involvement in associations within national governments, subnational politics, and international organizations.

Keywords: Cities, Global Public Policy, Local Governments Multi-level governance, Paradiplomacy

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