Between the local and the global: diffusion of intergovernmental organization membership among Korean local governments

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

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-202
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Review of Public Administration
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul 3

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
(WHO Alliance for Healthy Cities) ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) TPO (Tourism Promotion Organization for Asia Pacific Cities) IAEC (International Association of Educating Cities) UCLG (United Cities and Local Governments) GSGF (Gyeonggi-Shandong Governors Forum) NEAR (Association of North East Asia Regional Governments) GNLC (UNESCO Global Network Learning Cities) METROPOLIS (World Association of Major Metropolises) UN ISDR (UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction) WTA (World Technopolis Association)

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 The Korean Association for Public Administration.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Administration


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