Secession, De Facto Statehood and Global Governance: Institutional Approaches to Unrecognized Political Entities in International Law

Directeur /trice Prof. Nico Krisch
Co-directeur(s) /trice(s)
Résumé de la thèse

Due to their contested nature and origins, secessionist de facto states tend to be envisaged as pariah entities in international law. By satisfying traditional declaratory requirements for statehood while enjoying little to no recognition, such entities are shunned by most recognized states and appear to fail in effectively participating of international affairs. In fact, recognized states tend to avoid interacting with de facto states for fear of engaging in “creeping recognition” and legitimizing separatism. However, by sitting in delicate regions of deep geopolitical relevance, de facto states can often influence the stability of a wide array of international law regimes; on topics ranging from transnational pollution and piracy to international civil aviation and the trafficking of nuclear arms and humans. Consequently, interaction becomes a necessity. In this context, international organizations have assumed prominence in addressing the behavior of such entities through the means provided by institutional law, bearing in mind the constraints imposed by their structure, mandates and member-state sovereignty. Contrary to common assumptions, international law plays a decisive managerial role in regulating the conduct of de facto states, their description as “legal non-places” being inaccurate. With this backdrop, this doctoral thesis purports to investigate the capacities derived from de facto statehood under international law and explore the multisectoral practice of international organizations in respect of de facto states, assessing their ability to govern and safeguard selected international law regimes at stake in each entity.

Statut au début
Délai administratif de soutenance de thèse 2022-2026