The Problem of Factual State Sovereignty

  • Ersun N. Kurtulus


In the context of state sovereignty as a matter of actual might rather than legal right, some political entities occupy the grey zone that separates those entities that are supreme over a delimited piece of territory and independent of agents outside of it from those that lack such properties. Being indefinable conclusively in terms of factual state sovereignty or non-sovereignty, such entities display traits of what may be called the problem of factual state sovereignty. This phenomenon may manifest itself in four different forms. In some instances, such entities exist on the fringes of the set of phenomena referred to by the concept of factual state sovereignty and their basic features reflect the difficulties involved in general concept formation. Hence, they may be in an ambiguous position where it may not be clear whether or not they exert control over a delimited piece of territory—the problem of the degree of territorial control—or it may not be possible to determine if they are exposed to complete political control or mere political influence on the part of another, more powerful entity—the problem of insularity. In other cases, however, the symptoms of the problem indicate deeper complications that pervade the concept as such.


Grey Zone Collective Agent State Sovereignty Counterfactual Analysis Client Organization 
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© Ersun N. Kurtulus 2005

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  • Ersun N. Kurtulus

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