Secession of Kosovo

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Abstract

Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence from 2008 and certain subsequent developments have challenged some traditional theories pertaining to statehood and recognition. Do states really emerge on meeting the statehood criteria? Is recognition always declaratory? This chapter argues that the role of recognition depends on the mode of secession. The example of Kosovo demonstrates that collective recognition can indeed be more than merely declaratory where an attempt at secession is unilateral. What happens where collective recognition is widespread, but not universal? Is Kosovo a state because it is recognised by 113 states or is it not a state because it is recognised only by 113 states? The answer is that such a situation creates territorial ambiguity. Such an ambiguity is closely related to the concept of statehood. Statehood is not an objective physical fact, it is legal status of a territory. And legal status can sometimes be unclear and ambiguous.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on Secession
EditorsJure Vidmar, Sarah McGibbon, Lea Raible
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Pages167-182
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781788971751
ISBN (Print)9781788971744
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

SeriesResearch Handbooks in International Law series

Keywords

  • Kosovo
  • unilateral secession
  • independence
  • collective recognition
  • legal status

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