Forget the nation-state: cities will transform the way we conduct foreign affairs
Article suggested by Libby Giles, as perfect a perfect follow up from the summet « Climate Chance 2016 » in Nantes.
Rodrigo Tavares Founder and CEO, Granito & Partners, October 2016
« In 1814, Ivan Krylov, one of Russia’s best known authors, wrote a fable describing a man who goes to a museum and scrutinizes all sorts of tiny things, but fails to notice a bulky elephant. The new elephant in international relations is called “paradiplomacy”, the external relations of subnational governments. If the overwhelming majority of cities and states are conducting foreign affairs, and therefore thousands of brand-new actors are rising and adding their voices to global governance, how is it possible that we are not paying full attention?
Aware of their economic potential and faced with gridlock in national capitals, mayors and governors have gone a long way towards exercising political and economic power globally. The international activism of cities and states is rapidly growing across the world, discreetly transforming diplomatic practices and the delivery of public services.
Cities are economic and political powerhouses. The GDP of the state of New York is larger than that of Spain or South Korea. In Latin America, São Paulo state alone is richer than Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia combined. Guangdong in China is wealthier than Russia or Mexico… »
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