For Auld Lang Syne? : a study of Scottish paradiplomacy towards the Nordic countries after the Brexit vote
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Can Scotland engage in international relations? Following its position as subject to the United Kingdom of Great Britain , as a matter of law the simple answer is no. Nevertheless, Scotland has long engaged internationally with various parners focusing on different issues. Amongst these, the Nordic countries, with whom Scotland shares a long historical background, and claims similarity to. Moreover, in the period after the 2016 Brexit referendum, an intensification in Scotland’s engagement with the Nordic countries is observed. This provides a puzzle – how and why is Scotland engaging in international relations in this period? Through studying the observed puzzle as a case of paradiplomacy, a concept applied to the international relations of substate actors, this thesis seeks to answer the questions raised. Observing engagement of both bilateral and multilateral character built on sentiments of similarity, the thesis suggests that the main motivation for Scotland’s relations with the Nordic countries can be seen as an attempt at projecting its identity and repositioning itself geopolitically as Nordic.