Local Government Paradiplomacy in the UK: the Case of the Kent-Virginia Project

Casson, Rebecca and Dardanelli, Paolo (2012) Local Government Paradiplomacy in the UK: the Case of the Kent-Virginia Project. Local Government Studies, 38 (5). pp. 599-614. ISSN 0300-3930. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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This article investigates the Kent-Virginia Project, a recent partnership between Kent County Council (KCC) and the US state of Virginia, as a case study of local government paradiplomacy in the UK. It sets the project in the context of the growing international involvement of local government, which has so far largely been neglected in the literature. It seeks to explain why KCC embarked on this initiative and to identify what opportunities and constraints shaped the latter’s development. The evidence shows that KCC was primarily motivated by personal and institutional ambition, that decision-making was rather opaque and that communication was highly selective. As a result of its seizing a series of unforeseen opportunities that changed the nature of the project, KCC found itself performing roles traditionally reserved for central government. It also faced, however, severe constraints in terms of maintaining multiple institutional relations as well as managing media and public attitudes to the project. These findings show that UK local government can successfully engage in ambitious paradiplomacy but that such activities take place within an uncertain legal framework and raise both positive and normative questions. The article concludes by suggesting several avenues for further research and by calling for a redefinition of the legal and institutional framework governing the international activities of UK local government.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Paradiplomacy, international, local government, UK, USA, Kent, Virginia
Subjects: J Political Science
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Paolo Dardanelli
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2010 19:00
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2012 16:15
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/26115 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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