Juridical State Sovereignty: A Futile Search for Regular or Regulated State Behavior

  • Ersun N. Kurtulus

Abstract

In the sphere of international relations, some political entities are endowed with specific prerogatives and responsibilities that are connected to juridical sovereignty,1 while such a position is denied to others, sometimes even after decades of intense, more or less successful struggles. What is the immediate factor that distinguishes these two groups of entities, that draws, as a matter of actual legal fact rather than of pure normative right, the demarcation line between the privileged and the debarred, the member and the outsider, the enfranchised and the disentitled? In the writings of international lawyers and political scientists it is possible to identify three types of answers to this question: two of these refer to endogenous features, to constitutional independence and empirical attributes of statehood, respectively, while the third points to an exogenous factor, namely, recognition as a state by other states, as the determinant of sovereign legal status. In what follows, these explanations will be explored in some detail and with reference to classic monographs, contemporary studies, and modern textbooks. As it shall be seen in due course, apart from a sheer correlation between recognition as a state and sovereign legal status, none of these explanations provide a satisfactory answer to the question under investigation. In the sphere of international relations, it is not possible to identify any regular or regulated state practice that would warrant the claim that any of these factors causes acquisition of juridical state sovereignty.

Keywords

Malaysia Alan Preven Angola 

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Notes

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© Ersun N. Kurtulus 2005

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  • Ersun N. Kurtulus

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