Internationalization of Local Governments
This article examines Korean local governments joining international intergovernmental organizations (IGOs). In the international regime, nation-states have been regarded as the most basic unit that possesses sovereignty. For the past decades, however, sub-state and non-state actors, have progressively gained more autonomy and legitimacy to engage in international activities, and Korean local governments began to affiliate themselves with various IOs. I argue that Korean local governments join international organizations not to lag behind, even when they are not fully capable to join ‘glocalization.’ Event history analysis shows empirical support for this claim. A local government’s IO memberships are likely to increase when other local governments join IOs, especially when its peers/neighbors increasingly pursue inward and outward internationalization. Local pressures coming from peers/neighbors shape local governments’ responds to globalization. By investigating determinants of IO memberships, this study will shed light upon motivational factors for local governments to adapt to a globalizing society.
Keywords - Globalizations, South Korea, Local Governments, International Organizations, Local Autonomy