The Impact of Sub-National Units’ Paradiplomacy on Security

Proceedings of The 7th International Conference on Advanced Research in Social Sciences and Humanities

Year: 2023



The Impact of Sub-National Units’ Paradiplomacy on Security

Dr. Inass Abdulsada Ali




Although ancient in its origins, subnational diplomacy has largely been ignored due to international relations’ state-centric perception of the international political system that emerged in the aftermath of the peace of Westphalia, which introduced the concept of national sovereignty and put its national security on the front.
With the advent of globalization in the second half of the 20th century, sub-state actors have grown in both economic and political importance. International relations literature adopted two directions to deal with the new actors; the first one paid much attention to sub-state actors, such as decentralized governments and cities, while the second ignored them.
Sub-national units’ paradiplomacy is essential if we deal with the 21st century’s complex national security problems and challenges. Over the last decades, subnational actors have increased their effect on critical global issues, from climate change to refugee integration and, recently, pandemic response.
The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the mutual relationship between sub-national units and security. Subnational actors play an increasingly fundamental role in contributing to political norms related to security.
With the end of the Cold War, a development took place on two levels, leading to new theoretical approaches to security. The first is the appearance of new actors, subnational and supranational, competing with the state in function and effectiveness. The second is the emergence of new security threats not directly related to the state but related to other elements such as individuals and societies, especially those containing religious and ethnic minorities, the environment, and others. The multiplicity of actors in itself represented a significant challenge for the state, especially those sub-national who reside within its geographical borders, those sub-entities that are organized along ethnic, religious, or sectarian lines, and demand the sharing of power and the distribution of resources, as these dimensions affect the security of the state and its united entity. Therefore, in response to this challenge, the state devised the method of paradiplomacy to mitigate the risks of this challenge, which might affect its political unity and territorial integrity.

keywords: Globalisation, Multiple-actors, Security Threats, State Functions, Sub-Ntional Diplomacy