The Sub-National International Cooperation in the Relationship Between Argentina and China: The Case of the Buenos Aires Province and Its Local Governments

The Sub-National International Cooperation in the Relationship Between Argentina and China: The Case of the Buenos Aires Province and Its Local Governments

Facundo Carcedo (UNICEN, Argentina)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3503-5.ch002

Abstract

The chapter outlines the theoretical approach used in this research. Based on the relationship between China and Argentina, the chapter proposes a study of the links at the sub-national level between both states, specifically the ties between the Buenos Aires Province with Chinese counterparts, the municipality of Bahia Blanca with Dalian, and the municipality of General Pueyrredón with Tianjin, which is constituted as an innovator subject in the bilateral relationship and where a lack of recent research has been found. Conclusions will be presented to demonstrate the huge potential to increase the economic, political, cultural, educational, and commercial ties at the subnational level between Argentina and China provinces and local governments and to analyze from the IR discipline the participation of the Asian country in the Argentine sub-national international politics.
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Introduction

The present article has as its main objective to approach the cooperation between the People’s Republic of China (onwards China) and the Argentine Republic regarding the sub-national level (provinces and local governments) and to analyze from the IR discipline the participation of the Asian country in the Argentine sub-national international politics. In this sense, first the article outlines the theoretical approach used in this research. Second, based on the relationship between China and Argentina, the article proposes a study of the links at the sub-national level between both states, specifically the ties between the Buenos Aires Province with Chinese counterparts, the municipality of Bahia Blanca with Dalian, and the municipality of General Pueyrredón with Tianjin, which is constituted as an innovator subject in the bilateral relationship and where a lack of recent research has been found. Third, conclusions will be presented to demonstrate the huge potential to increase the economic, political, cultural, educational and commercial ties at the subnational level between Argentina and China.

This article has as departure point an international system where the nation-state is no longer the unique actor, as was analyzed by complex interdependence theories (Keohane & Nye, 1988). Thus, since the end of the World War II, other actors have gained importance such as international organizations, transnational enterprises, civil society organizations, and the sub-national governments, which can be defined as those located in lower jurisdictions in relation to the national government, e.g. provinces and municipalities. According to Argentine theorist Colacrai (2013):

While the own State defines its international insertion (…) and the politics that will pursue in the global scenario, simultaneously that is happening in lower scales (local scenarios), that also project influence or search the satisfaction of its expectations in the same “arena” before was reserved only to States (p. 5).

The sub-national governments have increased its international participation because of diverse factors, which are analyzed by Ortega Ramírez (2012) and classified inexogenous and endogenous. In the first group, it is possible to find the globalization process, the increasing interdependency, the emerging processes of economic integration based on international regimes, the nation-state crisis and international openness. Between the endogenous factors it is possible to find the sovereign crisis before which the local governments remain closer to the needs of the citizens, decentralization, the forms of government and the constitutional framework.

In this context, the main part of the literature utilizes the concept of paradiplomacy (Duchacek, 1984; Soldatos, 1990; Keating, 1999) to analyze the international action of the sub-national actors, which refers to a parallel diplomacy initiated for those to obtain resources and solve specific problems without the intervention of central governments (Araujo Moreira et al., 2009).

However, the notion of paradiplomacy is contested, broadly or narrowly, so multiples terms exist with specific connotations, within those it is possible to find: micro-diplomacy (Duchacek, 1984), constitutive diplomacy (Kincaid, 1990), protodiplomacy (Duchacek, 1984; García Segura, 2004), multi-level diplomacy (Hocking, 1993), centrifuge diplomacy (Torrijos, 2000), decentralized international cooperation (Coronel, 2006), federative diplomacy (Rodrigues, 2002; Monroy, 2007), sub-State diplomacy (Criekemans, 2010), among others.

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