Statehood: Regulation or Process
International Law Dissertation Statehood and Diplomatic Relations: One of the most deep rooted problems of international law is identity. Domestic law is obviously an amalgamation of rules regulating one’s behaviour in a local or national society. The complexity of international law is depicted directly by looking at whose behaviour it seeks to regulate. Who are subject to it? When do these perceived subjects become part of the international system of laws? While the answer to the first question is clear, and that is states, the second is difficult, complex and certainly not straightforward.
The reason being is that there is no academic conclusion as to when a territorial entity becomes formally a state, and therefore a subject of international law. Even more so, there is no conclusion between scholars and international lawyers alike as to whether statehood is a mere formality or an evidence of facts. The above, create further questions as to the very existence and practice of international law. It is of no coincidence that scholars studying international law have expressed concerns regarding the problems this debate entices. Others have rightfully stated that ‘very few branches of international law which are of greater, or more persistent, interest and significance for the law of nations than the question of Recognition of States’.
This dissertation project will attempt to analyse and explore as much as possible the various cases of entities bidding for recognition and acquisition of the status of statehood. It will also attempt to examine the implications of recognition as well as those of non-recognition and look into those cases of entities which have cast themselves as unique. Through this examination, one of the conclusions that can be extracted is that the birth of each state separately is a unique circumstance on its own.
Furthermore, the purpose of this dissertation is to compare the two main theories revolving around state creation drawing conclusions both from international legal documents as well as through pre-existing research held by distinguished scholars. In order to achieve the above, the paper has been constructed in such a way so as to offer an insight to as many issues that arise from the debate as allowed by the word limit, and achieve a conclusion as empirical as possible. The research will first overcome the most obvious of the obstacles it faces: the question of what comprises a state. Beyond the obvious description of a state, one needs to look into a number of its functions, such as the need to promote the welfare of its constituents.
1 – Introduction
2 – What is a State?
The Declaratory Theory
Territory and Self-Determination
Government and Sovereignty
Capacity to Enter into Diplomatic Relations
3 – State Creation
Self-Determination, Partition and the Use of Force
The Constitutive Theory
4 – Comparing the Constitutive and Declaratory Theories
The Reality of the ‘Politics of Recognition’
The Capacity to Enter into Diplomatic Relations
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
5 – Conclusion
6 – Table of Authorities