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International Law

International Law (5th edn)

Malcolm Evans
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date: 21 July 2024

p. 1777. Statehood, Self-determination, and Recognitionlocked

p. 1777. Statehood, Self-determination, and Recognitionlocked

  • Matthew Craven
  •  and Rose Parfitt


This chapter, which examines various theoretical arguments about recognition, statehood, or sovereignty, discusses the elusiveness of the actual place occupied by the State in legal international thought and practice. In one direction, the existence of a society of independent States appears to be a necessary presupposition for the discipline—something that has to precede the identification of those rules or principles which might be regarded as forming the substance of international law. In another direction, however, statehood is something that appears to be produced through international law following from a need to determine which political communities can rightfully claim to enjoy the prerogatives of sovereignty.

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