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Title: Understanding sub-state democracy promotion
Author: Powel, Dyfan Hedd
ISNI:       0000 0004 6349 3455
Awarding Body: Aberystwyth University
Current Institution: Aberystwyth University
Date of Award: 2016
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This project explores how we might understand the practice of democracy promotion as conducted by sub-states. It begins by exposing two problems related to making sense of or understanding, sub-state democracy promotion. Firstly, the international relations (IR) literature, the theoretical field within which democracy promotion is explored and understood, is lacking in its understanding and its accounts of sub-states and their international activities. Paradiplomacy scholarship meanwhile, that examines the international activities of sub-states, does not account for their democracy promotion in relation to the broader IR discussion of the practice. This initial problem leads to the exploration of two research questions; how to better understand sub-state democracy promotion, and; what do paradiplomacy, and democracy promotion studies gain from doing so? To better understand sub-state democracy promotion, the thesis develops Andre Lecours' (2002) analytical framework; an historical institutionalist examination of 'opportunity structures' that condition paradiplomacy. It is modified, however, to account for and capture data that relates to key factors raised within the democracy promotion literature. The approach is applied to three most different case studies, Flanders (Belgium), Maryland (USA), and Wales (UK), to produce new empirical data from which a better understanding of sub-state democracy promotion can be constructed. The research finds that sub-state democracy promotion can be understood to take place in three forms – it can be explicit, implicit, or subcontracted. It is explicit when the activities of sub-state governments or legislatures specifically seek to promote democracy abroad. It is implicit when the international activities of sub-states inadvertently promote democracy without specifically seeking to do so, most notably through international development programmes. Finally, other types of democracy promoters subcontract sub-state officials, their knowledge, and expertise. Besides exploring these types of activity, and motivations for them, the thesis also finds that sub-states promote a particular, more inclusive form of democracy and that they initiate democracy promoting activities at key, formative periods in their existence, shortly after the decentralization of power. The thesis argues that this is in part a symbolic activity and a means of constructing the international actorness of the sub-state at a key, formative period. This research seeks to make a contribution to both the paradiplomacy, and the democracy promotion literature, not least by providing the first detailed account of, and the first systematic, empirically based understanding of sub-state democracy promotion.
Supervisor: Kurki, Milja ; Royles, Elin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available