A Study of Paradiplomacy in São Paulo and Toronto

Photo: Prominent politicians, city experts, and academics from São Paulo and Toronto attended the Paradiplomacy meeting at the Global Cities Institute Headquarters in Toronto on April 21, 2014.

The Global Cities Institute (GCI) at the University of Toronto in partnership with the Institute of International Relations at the University of São Paulo (USP) is conducting a study of Paradiplomacy in São Paulo and Toronto.

Paradiplomacy is the subnational governments’ involvement in international relations with the aim to promote socio-economic, cultural, or political issues, as well as any other foreign dimension of their own constitutional competences (CORNAGO, 2010,p. 13).  

Following Toronto’s visit to São Paulo in December 2014, the GCI hosted a group of distinguished representatives from the University of São Paulo during the week of April 16th. The GCI organized a number of other meetings and roundtables for the visiting delegation with prominent politicians, scholars, and city leaders in the City of Toronto.  

On April 21, a workshop was held at the GCI headquarters. Opening remarks welcoming the delegates were conducted by Professor Richard Sommer, Dean of John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, University of Toronto. Graziela Vital and Professor Wagner Pralon Mancuso from the University of São Paulo presented on Paradiplomacy and their initial research findings. 

Other speakers included: Professor Patricia McCarney, Director of GCI; Richard Stren, GCI Senior Fellow and Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, University of Toronto; His Excellency José Vicente de Sá Pimentel, Consul General of Brazil, Toronto; Mr. Alan Broadbent, Avana Capital Corporation; Councillor Ana Bailão, City of Toronto; Councillor Michael Thompson, City of Toronto; and Mr. Michael Williams, Economic Development & Culture, City of Toronto.  

One more meeting will be in held in São Paulo and Toronto as part of this university to university partnership.  This is the first time both Toronto and São Paulo – the largest metropolitan regions in their respective federal states – have been directly and systematically compared.

Photo: Professor Richard Stren, GCI Senior Fellow & Department of Political Science, University of Toronto; Abigail Friendly, Urban Specialist, Researcher and Consultant, University of Toronto; Graziela Vital, Doctoral Candidate, University of São Paulo; Professor Patricia McCarney, GCI Director & Department of Political Science, University of Toronto; and Professor Wagner Pralon Mancuso, University of São Paulo (left to right) are the primary academics involved in the study of Paradiplomacy.