Singing from the same song sheet: paradiplomacy and federalism in an era of weaponised interdependence

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    Abstract

    Australian State governments have maintained overseas trade and diplomatic engagements, a practice known as ‘paradiplomacy’ for well over a century. In 2020 the Federal Government abruptly moved to restrict the practice, establishing oversight and creating a Ministerial veto power. Why did this sudden shift occur? This article reviews the under-studied history and contemporary practice of paradiplomacy in Australia. It explains and analyses the 2020 shift as a response to fears of weaponised interdependence within an evolving strategic environment. The article shows the legislation has advantages yet is insufficient to resolve the political challenges and reflects an unprecedented desire for control. The article then argues the lack of scholarship on paradiplomacy reflects a prevailing ‘methodological nationalism’ and argues this should be re-considered to help think through how the new strategic environment is shaping Australia’s national institutions and policies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)146-156
    JournalAustralian Journal of Political Science
    Volume58
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

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