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Based on the broader context of globalization as politics, this paper adopts the following assumption: cities through their transnational cooperation networks and economic projects are the expression of a new political actor that has shifted its scale of operations, and have thus partly emancipated themselves from the monopoly of the nation-state in the deployment of transborder public action. In pursuance of developing this assumption, this paper approaches the discussion on municipal paradiplomacy in three parts: firstly, it presents the historical and theoretical background of paradiplomacy in Brazil; secondly, it looks into the empirical reality of several Brazilian municipalities and their international actions; thirdly, it presents a series of critical questions for analyzing cities and their transnational networks as new political actors in the global arena. Empirically, this paper raises key issues related to the multiple ways in which municipalities throughout Brazil develop transnational activities, whereas analytically it aims to provide a better understanding of their soft-border approach, as well as their pragmatic association between a renewed identity in the global scenario and an innovative strategy of local international management.
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