The Specificities of Lisbon As an International (City) Actor


States have been, traditionally, the key analytical category to reason on International Relations (IR) with different renounced authors explicitly or implicitly acknowledging it. However, on pair with states, cities are an organizing form and space of political, social, cultural, demographic, environmental and economic life. Cities are nowadays one of the actors of the global, and engage the global directly, often sidestepping the national in distinct areas. They hold, hence, the power to influence international dynamics and decisions. Although endeavors to attribute cities the same analytical importance as the one held by States in IR still constitute a huge challenge to the discipline, literature advocating for the acknowledgement of cities as international actors has been burgeoning within this academic field. This paper argues that cities are indeed international actors as such, and presents the results of fieldwork undertaken in Lisbon, an European Atlantic and historically cosmopolitan city, as empirical evidence of such. It highlights the specificities of Lisbon’s paradiplomatic initiatives, actors and networks within the domain of culture, politics and tourism. This subject is analyzed in the context of the research project on "Cities and Regions: the paradiplomacy in Portugal" in progress at OBSERVARE, Observatory of Foreign Relations.

Author Information
Sofia José Santos, Autonomous University of Lisbon, Portugal
Luís Moita, Autonomous University of Lisbon, Portugal
Brígida Rocha Brito, Autonomous University of Lisbon, Portugal
Célia Quintas,Autonomous University of Lisbon, Portugal

Paper Information
Conference: CITY2016
Stream: Political Science: Administration, Governance and Finance

This paper is part of the CITY2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon