October 2016, Vol. 64, Issue 4, pp. 953-968
Abstract: The increasing importance of subnational governments in interstate affairs calls for international and comparative law scholars to take subnational foreign relations law more seriously. This article conceives this law as the legal rules that regulate the vertical allocation of foreign relations powers within and across States, and constructs an analytical framework that addresses the questions of why any sovereign would grant extensive foreign relations powers to constituent entities and how such an arrangement plays out in actual practice. This study takes a comparative approach to case studies of the Special Administrative Regions (SARs) of the People's Republic of China: Hong Kong and Macau, which are known for their unusually extensive paradiplomatic powers, which not only defy conventional categories but also surpass those of other substates.