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Tier 2 Diplomacy: Local Government Cooperation amid Tensions in the South China Sea

  • Mark Henderson
Chapter
Part of the Critical Studies of the Asia-Pacific book series (CSAP)

Abstract

Analyses of the South China Sea (SCS) disputes tend to focus on the aggregate interests of national governments, overlooking the objectives of local governments and businesses, which, in spite of national hostility, have been consistently interested in cooperation for the purposes of economic vitality and community well-being. This chapter deals specifically with the SCS as a case study in local government cooperation in an attempt to determine if local cooperation is occurring meaningfully amid national tensions and, if so, if local governments’ roles in conflict prevention and peace-building through local mechanisms could be leveraged as a viable tool for conflict deterrence and encouraging national governments to consider the cost-benefit ratio of national territorial claims versus local community vitality. Interest in the impact of local government is growing, and this chapter not only sheds light on a commonly overlooked segment of exchanges in the SCS but also provides a timely identification of policy implications for local leaders and bureaucrats in the region and could serve as a benchmark for future conflict prevention efforts by local governors.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Henderson
    • 1
  1. 1.National Chengchi UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

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