The Effectiveness-Legitimacy Conundrum in the International Law of State Formation

  • Andreas Th. MüllerEmail author
Part of the Law and Philosophy Library book series (LAPS, volume 130)


According to the traditional textbook account, the coming into existence of States is a fact, depending on the realization of effective government over territory and people (so-called three-elements doctrine). Against this background, the present contribution argues that while the formation of States is a predominately fact-based phenomenon, it is not limited to a mere test of effectiveness. The formation of States has always incorporated elements of legitimacy and even more so by virtue of the development of international law in the wake of World War II. Issues of legitimacy become relevant in particular in extreme situations, i.e. in the event that the foundational principles of the contemporary international legal order as manifested in the concept of peremptory norms of general international law (jus cogens) are at stake.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of European Law and Public International LawUniversity of InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria

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