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Democratic Statehood in International Law

The Emergence of New States in Post-Cold War Practice

By: Jure Vidmar
Media of Democratic Statehood in International Law
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Published: 28-03-2013
Format: Hardback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 302
ISBN: 9781849464697
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Series: Studies in International Law
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP: £85.00
Online price : £76.50
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About Democratic Statehood in International Law

This book analyses the emerging practice in the post-Cold War era of the creation of a democratic political system along with the creation of new states. The existing literature either tends to conflate self-determination and democracy or dismisses the legal relevance of the emerging practice on the basis that democracy is not a statehood criterion. Such arguments are simplistic. The statehood criteria in contemporary international law are largely irrelevant and do not automatically or self-evidently determine whether or not an entity has emerged as a new state. The question to be asked, therefore, is not whether democracy has become a statehood criterion. The emergence of new states is rather a law-governed political process in which certain requirements regarding the type of a government may be imposed internationally. And in this process the introduction of a democratic political system is equally as relevant or irrelevant as the statehood criteria. The book demonstrates that via the right of self-determination the law of statehood requires state creation to be a democratic process, but that this requirement should not be interpreted too broadly. The democratic process in this context governs independence referenda and does not interfere with the choice of a political system.

This book has been awarded Joint Second Prize for the 2014 Society of Legal Scholars Peter Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship.

Table Of Contents

Chapter 1 Democracy and Statehood in International Law
1 Introduction
2 International Law and (Non-)democratic States
3 The Emergence of States in International Law
Chapter 2 The Practice of Post-Cold War State Creations: The Statehood Criteria, Democracy and Human Rights
1 Introduction
2 The Emergence of States as a Result of Domestic Consensus
3 The EC Guidelines and EC Declaration: Beyond the Statehood Criteria
4 The Independence of Montenegro
5 International State-making and Democracy-making in East Timor
6 Kosovo as an Attempt at Informal Collective Creation of a Democratic State
7 Conclusion
Chapter 3 Democratic Aspects of the Right of Self-Determination
1 Introduction
2 Self-determination: Development, Democratic Pedigree and Limitations
3 Self-determination, Governmental Representativeness and Multiparty Democracy
4 The Right of Self-determination, Political Participation and Choice of Political System
5 Democracy and the exercise of the Right of Self-determination in its Internal Mode
6 The 'Safeguard Clause' and Remedial Secession
7 Democratic Principles and External Exercise of the Right of Self-determination
8 Conclusion
Chapter 4 Delimitation of New States and Limitations on the Will of the People
1 Introduction
2 The Creation of New States and the Uti Possidetis Principle
3 The Nature and Relevance of Internal Boundaries in the Post-1990 Practice of New International Delimitation
4 Conclusion
Chapter 5 Democratic Statehood: Conclusions
1 Democracy and Statehood: An Analysis from Two Perspectives
2 The Emergence of New States in the Post-Cold War Practice
3 Contemporary International Practice and the Legal Status of the Statehood Criteria
4 The Operation of and Limits on Democratic Principles Within the Right of Self-Determination
5 Final Remarks: The Place of Democracy within the Process of State Creation


“..up-to-date, systematic and authoritative coverage of state creation and recognition in the international order. The book caps its author's series of substantial contributions to the literature on this topic.” –  Brad Roth, EJIL: Talk!

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