Substate organizations as foreign policy agents: new evidence and theory from India, Israel, and France

Blarel, N. and Sarkar, J. (2019) Substate organizations as foreign policy agents: new evidence and theory from India, Israel, and France. Foreign Policy Analysis, 15(3), pp. 413-431. (doi: 10.1093/fpa/ory009)

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The extant scholarship in international relations does not completely account for the role of sub-state organizations (SSOs) in foreign policymaking of states. Yet, international cooperation, especially, in specialized areas like defense, space and nuclear technologies that are intrinsically complex frequently witness extensive involvement of SSOs. In other words, SSOs often act as foreign policy agents driving the international partnerships. Why does this happen, and what are its causal mechanisms? In this study, we conduct a plausibility probe on the role of SSOs through examining India's partnerships with France and Israel in the specialized domains of nuclear, space and defense technologies, and find that the foreign policy executives (FPEs) within the governments frequently defer to relevant SSOs when specialized knowledge and expertise are required, thereby, conferring foreign policy agency to the SSOs. We also find that the SSOs select their international partners based on their goals of efficiency, common institutional designs and organizational cultures. Our conclusions lead us to draw scholarly attention to this largely ignored yet significant actor in foreign policy decision-making.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sarkar, Dr Jay
Authors: Blarel, N., and Sarkar, J.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Economic and Social History
Journal Name:Foreign Policy Analysis
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):1743-8594
Published Online:24 December 2018

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