Local Actions in a Global Context will consider how subnational jurisdictions and 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 – towns, cities, and regions – are finding that sovereignty is no longer essential for entrance to the global stage. Local governments and unrecognised states are using paradiplomacy and informal diplomacy to promote their interests internationally in such areas as 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 will consider the implications of subnational and unrecognised jurisdictions 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. Jon Pierre and Eric Clark will act as keynote speakers.

The deadline for proposals is 1 June 2012. Talks last 20 minutes and are in English. Proposals are considered on a rolling basis: If you make a proposal early, you may be able to register at a reduced rate. If you have any questions or would like to join the conference mailing list, e-mail Adam Grydehøj at agrydehoj@islanddynamics.org