Call for Panelist/Chair: AHA 2018 / Paradiplomacy Panel

Raymond Laureano-Ortiz's picture

Dear colleagues:

I am looking to complete a panel on paradiplomacy with the following preliminary title and description for the American Historical Association's 2018 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC...
--- Title: Historical Perspectives on Contemporary Worldwide Paradiplomacy: The International Venturing of Subnational Governments
--- Since the latter decades of the 20th century, subnational goverments or political subunits from nation-states such as cities, federated states (like US states), departments, regions, provinces, autonomous communities, and dependent or associated territories have been increasingly involved in international activities. These paradiplomatic activities have been pursued in the economic, collaborative/cooperative, and political fronts. The papers/presentations in this session provide historical perspectives on the paradiplomatic experience of some of these subnational jurisidictions as they address mostly pragmatic and occasionally identitary objectives and as they add layers to the complexities of global interactions.

My paper/presentation has the following preliminary title and description...
--- Title: Puerto Rico’s Paradiplomacy at the End of the 20th Century: Between Pragmatism and Identitary Showcasing
--- Puerto Rico (PR) is a subnational entity in a particular relationship of free assocation with the US. Like many other subnational governments, it has ventured into the international arena through various channels. The 80s and 90s were a particularly active period for Puerto Rico in the context of the Second Cold War, movements towards market liberalization and regionalization and, thus, in general, the increasingly interconnected networks of commerce, production, collaboration, and even conflict. Puerto Rico’s paradiplomacy during this period involved some pragmatic continuities across the various government teams in power, but also showed different nuances in terms identitary projection and access channels to the world stage, taking into account the relationship with the US. Attention is focused on four of Puerto Rico’s paradiplomatic strategies during the time: (1) leadership in economic development collaboration with the Greater Caribbean, (2) an identitary project to insert the Island in international organizations within the specialized UN circuit and the growing Iberoamerican world community, (3) alignment with the US hemispheric initiatives by strengthening the possibilities to serve as an intercultural continental bridge for commerce, production, and collaboration, and (4) the exploration of tax paradiplomacy by looking for a viable way to reach double-tax avoidance agreements with other countries taking into account the restrictions imposed by US jurisdiction over Puerto Rican international affairs and keeping in mind the context of PR and the US being two separate entities for tax purposes.

There is one more potential paper with focus on a borderlands-history perspective of Puerto Rico's identitary paradiplomacy related to the Spanish language and the Fifth Centenary of the Encounter of Two Worlds of the 80s and 90s.

The original focus of the panel was going to be paradiplomacy in Puerto Rico, the US, or the Caribbean, but is now open to the historical accounts of paradiplomacy worldwide. The description will be revised if necessary once all papers are identified.

If anyone has the interest and the resources to attend AHA 2018 and join this panel (or roundtable) as a paper presenter or its chair, please, contact me at or before February 15, 2017.

Mil gracias,
Raymond Laureano-Ortiz, PhD
Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe
San Juan, Puerto Rico