Lucia Kovacikova

PhD Candidate, Political Science

Subnational Government Internationalization and the Global Economy

Over the course of the 20th century, subnational governments have become permanent players in the international arena, especially within the economic development space. But why do some subnational governments choose to internationalize – that is, to open international offices to promote trade and attract investment – while others do not?

I argue that subnational government internationalization (SGI) is a case of state and substate capacity. My theoretical contribution includes building a new framework to explain the interplay between national and subnational resources for economic development. I generate and test three hypotheses, focused on economic, political, and geographic factors that have enabled subnational governments to pursue internationalization.

I use a mixed methods approach. I begin my study by conducting a large-n analysis of my original dataset, which includes all 394 OECD subnational governments (TL2s) and their 1,036 international offices. To date, subnational international activities have not been analyzed on this scale, and thus the results provide a novel understanding of paradiplomacy. I then conduct a comparative, qualitative study using interview and archival research across four subnational cases in Canada and the United Kingdom.

Areas of Focus: International and Comparative Political Economy, paradiplomacy, subnational governments, economic development, mixed-method analysis, OECD, developed economies

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