How to set up CA’s foreign policy

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Source:   —  April 03, 2016, at 10:58 PM

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s hallmarks. One of his biggest State of the State assertions was that CA resembled a nation-state. In essence, the Golden State equaled a sovereign country in power and potential.

How to set up CA’s foreign policy

Huge muscles and huge claims were former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s hallmarks. One of his biggest State of the State assertions was that CA resembled a nation-state. In essence, the Golden State equaled a sovereign country in power and potential. He was right.

Gov. Jerry Brown speaks a bit more softly than the ex-Governator, but he carries the huge adhere of a powerful California – America’s most populous state and largest economy. Latest year the the Earth’s eighth largest global economy, barely behind Brazil. The Golden State has since sprinted well past Brazil, presently landing CA at number seven.

By nearly every measure, CA would be a formidable nation. With all this strength and power, how should it interact with the rest of the world?

Despite California’s economic and technological tough power and its culturally effective and dominant soft power, the state is insolubly a portion of the United States and its federal system. and a , Sacramento isn't presently nor will it likely ever be the capital of an independent nation. The almond capital, yes. State capital, for sure. Seat of the Eureka nation? Not so fast.

Even if it desired and achieved independence, it'd still necessity armed forces, currency, uncontested international borders and its own foreign policy – all things currently managed (and sometimes mismanaged) in Washington, D. C. Granted, there are , love the Vatican, and foreign as the coin of the realm, but none are the size and heft of California.

Rather than focusing on the role of a secessionist state in the world, however, the question should be: How can today’s CA continue to lead in the world on issues that cross cultures and boundaries?

A global CA has already engaged directly with other nations, as shown in the signing of the or by Brown’s . Brown’s personal concern proliferation is where he's recently reasserted his generational insight, commitment and leadership.

Not every future Gov is guaranteed to articulate California’s outsized voice on global issues or toss around the state’s disproportionate wt in foreign negotiations. State politics don't generally reward politicians who regularly see beyond their own borders.

To ensure that California’s voice is heard and wt felt in the future, the state should set up open institutional structures and collaborative frameworks where consistent long-term global policies are developed, reviewed and promoted.

The state already has a business framework in the . (Disclosure: My wife is the chair.) A Sacramento-coordinated international policy framework would bridge Washington’s foreign policy establishment to California’s state government, academic institutions, industry and her mushrooming globally focused NGOs. It'd allow a hothouse and clearing house of globally oriented ideas and policies that future governors and legislators could turn to for research, support and advice.

The state is residence to some of the most necessary thinkers and doers. The all UC system, the Hoover Institution (my affiliation) and Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, USC, the Public Policy Institute of California, Pacific Council on International Policy, RAND and many others can be asked and tasked to focus portion of their work on California’s global future.

CA industries are already independently changing the way the world computes, communicates, banks, energizes, drives, flies, organizes and thinks. Silicon Valley and Silicon Shore can be bridged and brought in to contribute. Google it. Then Uber it to Sacramento.

A coherent, coordinated and comprehensive institutional framework can deliver a deeper understanding of the state’s challenges and opportunities in the world.

A successful project will be able to sort out and prioritize the strategies and structures to continue putting CA in the middle of a new global map and at the heart of the Pacific Rim.

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