International law and state failure - Somalia and Yugoslavia

Carter, David John (2000) International law and state failure - Somalia and Yugoslavia University of Southampton, Faculty of Law, Doctoral Thesis , 315pp.


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The present study considers the treatment of failed States in international law. State
failure represents a relatively recent phenomenon, which presents novel problems for
the international community to deal with. For international law, the principles and
experience of dealing with the creation, continuity and extinction of States present the
nearest analogies, and so will form the basis of its responses to failure.

Failure is defined as governmental and societal collapse in a State, so severe as to
render it incapable of exercising internal and external sovereignty. It is likely to take
the form of either conflictual implosion - such as in Somalia; or fragmentary
explosion - as in Yugoslav ia. Accordingly, an examination of the treatment of these
two failed States, during the early 1990s, provides the substantive basis of the study.

The key aspects of Statehood under which the study proceeds are: loss of
government as a criterion of Statehood; self-determination, including the emerging
right of democratic governance; and recognition.

Consideration of the Somali and Yugoslav experiences of failure, and their treatment
under the three areas identified, evidences a strong inertia in the international system
against findings of State failure - the Somali experience. The only exception is if such
a finding is coupled with a potential solution, such as the possible emergence of new
States - the Yugoslav experience. The determinations constitute a meta-legal process,
which can be seen as indicative of a new conception of 'political international law'.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Organisations: University of Southampton
ePrint ID: 193199
Date :
Date Event
July 2000Published
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2011 15:45
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 01:46
Further Information:Google Scholar

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