Incentives, Opportunities and Constraints in Local Government Paradiplomacy: A Case Study of the Kent-Virginia Project

Research output: ThesisMasters Thesis

Abstract

The involvement of sub central authorities in international affairs has been referred to in the literature as ‘paradiplomacy’ and, whilst not unnoticed, it has remained largely understudied. This thesis focuses on local government paradiplomacy and has a specific emphasis on the international activity of local government in the UK, an area generally ignored in the literature. There are references to the work of UK local government with counterparts in continental Europe, but this is not usually perceived as paradiplomacy. The central purpose of this thesis is to explore the incentives, opportunities and constraints UK local government experiences when engaging in paradiplomacy. In order to shed light on the broader phenomenon, it uses a case study of the Kent-Virginia (K-V) project, developed from a partnership between Kent County Council (KCC), one of the largest councils in the UK, and the Commonwealth of Virginia, a federated state of the USA. Insights from the K-V case show that local authorities are pushing the boundaries of local government paradiplomacy by embarking on ambitious projects and testing how much they can maneuver on the international scene. This thesis contributes to the body of knowledge on paradiplomacy in two ways, first by highlighting the significant work local authorities conduct contrasted with the paucity of research in this area. Secondly, by opening the debate on the incentives, opportunities and constraints UK local government experiences when engaging in paradiplomacy. Scholars may be able to expand the research on local government paradiplomacy by analysing further case studies, evaluating the overall efficacy of local government paradiplomacy and considering its long-term effects on central diplomacy. It may also prove a useful source of supporting evidence to practitioners, or government officials, considering any potential review of governance arrangements relating to the future of international work by local government.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationMaster of Arts
Awarding Institution
  • University of Kent
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Dardanelli, Paolo, Principal Supervisor, External person
Award date14 Jul 2010
Publisher
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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