Dissolution of States

Jure Vidmar*

*Corresponding author for this work

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How are state dissolutions different from secessions? In theory, a dissolution extinguishes the predecessor state, and its former constitutive units emerge as new states and new persons of international law. Conversely, a successful secession means that one part of an existing state becomes a new state and a new person of international law, while the rump state continues to exist and retains the same identity and international personality. In practice, this theoretical distinction has not always been preserved. This chapter thus seeks to analyse contemporary state dissolutions and their broader legal effects. It distinguishes between consensual and non consensual dissolutions, and between those situations where the legal personality of the predecessor state was extinguished and those where the legal personality continued to exist. In so doing, the chapter argues that the line between dissolution and secession is not always clear. It can be arbitrary and drawn with political goals in mind.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on Secession
EditorsJure Vidmar, Sarah McGibbon, Lea Raible
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781788971751
ISBN (Print)9781788971744
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2022

Publication series

SeriesResearch Handbooks in International Law series


  • state dissolution
  • international personality
  • Soviet Union
  • Yugoslavia
  • Czechoslovakia
  • State Union of Serbia and Montenegro


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