This chapter analyzes paradiplomacy comparatively around the world in ten federal countries: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, the USA, India and Russia. The cases are organized using the veto point and players model which includes the central-local division of power variable. Special emphasis is placed on providing evidence to answer the questions on: relevant reasons to conduct paradiplomacy, legal bases of IRSSG, predominant motives for conducting paradiplomacy, mechanisms of institutionalization of IRSSG, central government’s attitude towards the international activities of its SSGs and consequences of paradiplomacy in the development of the nation.

Evidence is provided to sustain ten observable characteristics of paradiplomacy: 1) there is important variation in the levels of paradiplomacy and central-local coordination; 2) changes in the types of central-local coordination are observed; 3) the most important reasons to conduct paradiplomacy are globalization, regionalization, decentralization and border management; 4) democratization is a relevant variable for increasing paradiplomacy in countries with democracies in process of consolidation, but not in consolidated democracies; 5) the predominant motive to conduct paradiplomacy is promoting local economic development, while other secondary motives, like management of border issues, can also be present; cultural motivations are only observed in cases with cultural variation between SSGs, while political motives exist where political cleavages between cultural communities are present; 6) all countries have created SSG agencies to conduct their international affairs, and they vary considerably in their size, resources, activities and levels of consolidation depending of the type of paradiplomacy; 7) there is considerable variation in the international activities conducted by SSGs; all countries conduct the simplest actions of internationalization, but only complementary and inclusive countries are open permanent diplomatic representations abroad, and only inclusive cases participate in official federal government delegations abroad; 8) in terms of the consequences of paradiplomacy, a rationalization of national foreign policy is observed in all cases; 9) all countries make a difference between foreign policy (exclusive power of the central government, including high-politics issues), and paradiplomacy (including areas where SSGs have powers, mostly low-politics issues); 10) developed and consolidated parliamentary democracies are inclusive cases, while developing presidential systems with democracies in consolidation are complementary cases; exclusive cases have federal systems constitutionally, but they function in a centralized way, practically nullifying federal institutions.