Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Paradiplomacy and the state of the nation. A comparative analysis.

Dickson, Francesca 2017. Paradiplomacy and the state of the nation. A comparative analysis. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
Item availability restricted.

[thumbnail of 2018dicksonphd.pdf]
PDF - Accepted Post-Print Version
Download (1MB) | Preview
[thumbnail of F Dickson.pdf] PDF - Supplemental Material
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (403kB)


Part of a new cohort of diplomatic actors, sub-state governments represent a particularly complex challenge for our understanding of international relations. These actors are both territorially constituted and governmental; they look and sound very similar to states. Crucially, however, they are not states at all. When paradiplomatic relations are conducted on the part of sub-state governments with a strong regional identity, in particular ‘stateless nations’, there can sometimes be challenge – implicit or explicit – to the authority of the state to speak for, or represent, its people. This thesis takes three such stateless nations: Wales, Scotland and Bavaria, and analyses their paradiplomatic activities. The unique political context in each of these case studies is used as a frame within which to understand and interpret both the motivations and implications of such activities. Using a conceptual toolkit less familiar to traditional paradiplomatic analysis, including sovereignty games, performativity and mimicry, the study explores the ways in which sub-state governments acquire international agency, and the extent to which this agency is contested by other actors. Despite the range in political ambitions in each of the stateless nations considered, the paradiplomatic activities they conducted were often remarkably similar. What differed, however, was the way that these activities were interpreted, depending on the political context and the tenor of inter-governmental relations within the state. The paradox of paradiplomacy is that in many ways it remains unremarkable in its day-to-day practices. Yet, at other times, sub-state governments use their international relationships to make important claims about their status and position within their state, the currency of exchanges becoming that rarefied concept: sovereignty. Using a marginal site of international relations such as paradiplomacy, this thesis explores the heterogeneity of the field and the variety of relationships that exist and persist within it.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Submission
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Uncontrolled Keywords: paradiplomacy sub-state government stateless nation Wales Scotland Bavaria sub-state diplomacy performativity sovereignty game mimicry diplomacy devolution federalism multi-level governance
Funders: Cardiff University President's Scholarship
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 May 2018
Last Modified: 20 May 2021 14:55

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics