Sub-states in transition: changing patterns of EU paradiplomacy in Scotland and Wales, 1992–2021

Rachel Minto, Carolyn Rowe*, Elin Royles

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article sheds new light on the dynamics of Scottish and Welsh relations with the European Union (EU). We analyse the development of Scotland and Wales’s ‘paradiplomacy’ over a 30-year period (1992–2021), offering the first comprehensive analysis of the EU-focused activities of sub-states transitioning out of the EU. We identify the significance of the interplay between a territory’s formal constitutional position and differences in party politics across levels of government in shaping paradiplomacy. Increasing tensions between the UK and devolved governments regarding the UK’s EU withdrawal have reinforced conflict dynamics, including in the context of growing protodiplomacy from the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) government.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTerritory, Politics, Governance
Early online date15 May 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 May 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023 Regional Studies Association. This is an Accepted Manuscript version of the following article, accepted for publication in Territory, Politics and Governance on 15 May 2022. This version is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Funders: The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the Coppieters Foundation [grant numberEP-FINS-2020-17].


  • Brexit
  • Scotland
  • Wales
  • paradiplomacy
  • protodiplomacy
  • secessionism


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