Subnational participation in extra-national policy solutions: Kitakyushu City as an intermediate agent in policy coordination
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The growing challenges of environment and sustainable development stretch across scales of geographic space and require action at multiple levels of jurisdictions, such as individual level, community level, national level, and global level. Multilevel governance and cross-scale coordination will open up opportunities for a variety of stakeholders to participate in decision-making. While potentially increasing the capacity of governance, the cross-scale and multilevel approaches may face a difficulty in policy coordination created by the plurality of stakeholders and be attended with organizational complexity. This article will examine the potential of subnational participation to make a policy choice, mediated by local governments, to be congruent with global strategies and national mandates in a consistent way. To this end, it will bring a new perspective to Kitakyushu City’s experience in Japan as a heuristic test case study. My claim is that subnational actors occupy a strategic position to straddle the division between state and society, between the center and the periphery, and between the domestic and the foreign so they can act as an intermediate agent in reconnecting local action with national policy and turning global strategies into local action for problem solving.
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