Paradiplomacy in Hard Times: Cooperation and Confrontation in Subnational US-China Relations

What is becoming of subnational governments’ engagement with China during an era of rising international tensions? States and cities across the United States dramatically expanded their contact and cooperation with Chinese counterparts during the early 21st century. However, many of these subnational governments have scaled back engagement and introduced anti-PRC measures in recent years amid worsening tensions. In collaborative research with Dr Sara A. Newland (Smith College), Jaros has drawn on an original dataset of state-level policy actions toward China to assess variation over time and across space in subnational US-China relations. Jaros and Newland’s analysis suggests that US states’ interaction with China in recent years has featured distinct dimensions of cooperation and confrontation, and they use quantitative analysis and in-depth case studies to explore the drivers of each.

Kyle A. Jaros is associate professor of global affairs in the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame. Jaros’s research explores the politics of urban and regional development, intergovernmental relations, and subnational foreign engagement with a focus on China. He is the author of China’s Urban Champions: The Politics of Spatial Development (Princeton University Press, 2019) and has published in leading China studies and interdisciplinary social science journals. He is currently at work on a second book project and related articles (with Sara A. Newland) examining subnational US-China relations during a period of rising tensions. Jaros is currently a Visiting Senior Fellow for US-China Subnational Relations with the Truman Center for National Policy; he is also a fellow of the National Committee on US-China Relations’ Public Intellectuals Program and a former Wilson China Fellow (2022–23). Jaros holds a PhD in Political Science from Harvard University and an AB in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University.