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date: 26 September 2022

De Facto States in the 21st Centurylocked

De Facto States in the 21st Centurylocked

  • James Ker-LindsayJames Ker-LindsayPolitical Science, London School of Economics and Political Science

Summary

De facto states have become an increasingly interesting topic for scholars and policy makers. Regarded as an anomaly in the international system, their increasing prevalence is raising serious questions about the nature of statehood and secession in the contemporary international system. But they present a number of definitional and conceptual issues. Quite apart from how they should be called, which is a debate that seems to be close to settlement, there have been debates about which territories should qualify as de facto states. More importantly, what hope do these territories have of being legalized or legitimized in the future? It seems that the strong aversion to recognizing unilateral acts of secession will remain in force. It is also worth noting that the very nature of the international system is now changing. The international system focused almost exclusively on states is disappearing rapidly. All sorts of bodies, organizations, and companies now interact on the world stage. In this sense, de facto states may well find that they find a place in their own right in an evolving and expanding international community.

Subjects

  • Conflict Studies
  • Diplomacy
  • Foreign Policy
  • International Law
  • Political Geography

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