The international strategy of subnational actors: The case of Quebec
The case of QuebecQuebec is the only Canadian province where French is the only provincial official language. The province strives to assert its distinctiveness, as shown by the declaration voted in 2003 by the National Assembly of Quebec, which states that Quebec constitutes a “nation”. In the 1960s, the province went through the so-called “Quiet Revolution”, which led to independence referenda and to the adoption of laws aiming to preserve the French language.It is in this context that the international strategy of Quebec took off, with the opening of the Quebec house in Paris in 1961 and the adoption of the Gérin-Lajoie doctrine in 1965 (named after the then vice-president of Quebec) that claimed Quebec’s “determination to take the place that it deserves in the contemporary world”. In 1967 Quebec created a Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs, which became the Ministry of International Affairs in 1984 and later changed name several times.Over the years, Quebec has opened numerous representations abroad: New York (1940), Paris (1961), London (1962), Dusseldorf (1970), Brussels (1972), Tokyo (1973), Mexico (1980), Seoul (1991). More recently, it opened also offices in Berlin (2006), Mumbai (2008), Dakar and Qingdao (2016). Such representations serve a number of functions: support entrepreneurs and cultural and educational institutions; collect strategic information; promote Quebec with investors, tourists and students.Quebec also developed bilateral and multilateral actions. In 1965, a France-Quebec cooperation agreement was established in the field of education and three years later, a French-Quebecois Office for the Youth was inaugurated. In 1980, Quebec made an agreement with the People’s Republic of China to collaborate in the field of education. It conducted also international missions, and received delegations of foreign heads of states.
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