Date of Submission

Fall 11-30-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in International Conflict Management (Ph.D. INCM)


Dr. Jesse Benjamin

Co-chair/Committee Member

Dr. Richard Vengroff

Committee Member

Dr. Anne Richards

Committee Member

Dr. Maya Arakon


In accordance with the growing engagement of substate entities (SE) in international affairs, paradiplomacy [foreign policy actions of SEs] and protodiplomacy [secessionist form of paradiplomacy] represent an expanding debate in which SEs are characterized as: (1) “complementary” or “extra” units to traditional states, (2) neofunctionalist constituents of [European] regional integration, and (3) constructivist [green, global or nationalist] units of global governance. The level/scope of sharing state-power is a key issue in the debates setting the frontiers for paradiplomacy, eventually limiting the political-economic space for substate development in a state-centric world of politics. Beyond the mainstream views, this study proposed a new model with SEs being the “Schumpeterian” pioneers of governance, international development and conflict. In the context of dynamically evolving global political economy and the deformation/failure of post-colonial states, SEs are increasingly “pro-active” units with state-alike functions of territoriality, security, constitution making, international agreements and even “hard-policy” engagement, clearly seen in the Kurdish regions. Comparing the key intrinsic case: the quadri-regional Kurdish paradiplomacy (between Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran) with Quebec and Catalonia, this study focuses on progressive vs. antagonist policies/practices of states towards SEs. Investigating the intersection between paradiplomacy, international development and conflict in divided societies, this study argues that progressive power-sharing yields superior outcomes compared to rigid centralized systems of state-power. Solid evidence shows how SEs have diverse enhanced roles of building capacity, resilience, and self-competency in various areas of policy through the use of paradiplomacy, with the premise of tackling contemporary challenges of world politics.

Available for download on Monday, November 29, 2021