Forget the Nation-State: Cities will transform the Way we conduct Foreign Affairs

Publication Date: 
04 October 2016
Publication Language: 
Appearing in: 
World Economic Forum

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?

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