According to James Crawford (in Brownlie’s Principles of International Law, 8th ed., 2012, pp. 127–128), “Despite the importance of the subject matter [the creation and incidence of statehood], the literature is rather uneven. Three factors have contributed to this. First, though the subject is important as a matter of principle, the issue of statehood does not often raise long-standing disputes. Secondly, much of the literature is devoted to broad concepts of sovereignty and equality of states and gives prominence to incidents of statehood rather than its origin and continuity. Finally, many rifts in relations between particular states concern issues of government rather than statehood.” This being said, the literature on statehood is far from being nonexistent. There are a number of books and articles on the topic, so a selection is therefore needed. This article does not, accordingly, pretend to be exhaustive. It will focus on five issues, favoring for each of them the most relevant, the most recent, or the most illustrative books or articles: general aspects of statehood in international law, evolution of statehood in history, state definition under international law, forms of states, and categories of states. It will not deal, on the other hand, with topics ancillary only to statehood and that deserve a specific bibliography, such as sovereign equality, recognition, secession and dissolution, or specific cases (i.e., Palestine, Kosovo).
The role played by international law in the regulation of statehood is still disputed. Crawford 2006 and Marek 1955 argue that it is regulated by international law, albeit in a specific way. According to Quéneudec 2008, international law would even regulate the designation and symbols of the state. Others, such as D’Aspremont 2014, tend to think that the role played of international law is overestimated.
Crawford, James. The Creation of States in International Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.
This seminal book is entirely devoted to statehood issues. It constitutes both an excellent introduction to and a detailed analysis on the topic. The book deals in particular with the various theories of statehood (whether the state is a fact or a construction of law, whether a state exists per se, objectively, or only in an intersubjective way, depending on other states’ recognition). The book contains a detailed “select bibliography.”
D’Aspremont, Jean. “The International Law of Statehood.” Connecticut Journal of International Law 29 (2014): 201–224.
According to D’Aspremont, who favors an anti-legalist approach of statehood, a foundational inquiry of the so-called law of statehood is needed. His article elaborates on the rationales behind the efforts of international lawyers to construct a law of statehood and tries to show, in particular, that the so-called law of statehood is informed by some intra- and extra-professional dynamics, especially a common project for the advancement of international law.
Marek, Krystina. Identity and Continuity of States in Public International Law. Geneva, Switzerland: Libr E Droz, 1955.
Marek’s study deals with the highly controversial issue of whether one state died or continued its unchanged legal personality when it is facing situations such as illegal annexation or occupation (like the Baltic States did after the Second World War).
Quéneudec, Jean-Pierre. Le nom et les symboles de l’Etat au regard du droit international: Mélanges Puissochet. Paris: Pédone, 2008.
As the Macedonia v. Greece case submitted some years ago to the ICJ shows, the choice by a state of its own name can raise difficult legal issues. The name and the symbol of a state, even though they could seem a quite anecdotal issue, fall under the ambit of international law and deserve to be analyzed as such. See pp. 247–253.
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.
How to Subscribe
Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here.
Purchase an Ebook Version of This Article
Ebooks of the Oxford Bibliographies Online subject articles are available in North America via a number of retailers including Amazon, vitalsource, and more. Simply search on their sites for Oxford Bibliographies Online Research Guides and your desired subject article.
If you would like to purchase an eBook article and live outside North America please email email@example.com to express your interest.
- African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights and the Af...
- Agreements, Bilateral and Regional Trade
- Agreements, Multilateral Environmental
- Arctic Region
- Armed Opposition Groups
- Aut Dedere Aut Judicare
- Bandung Conference, The
- Children's Rights
- Civil Service, International
- Collective Security
- Command Responsibility
- Common Heritage of Mankind
- Complementarity Principle
- Conspiracy/Joint Criminal Enterprise
- Constitutional Law, International
- Consular Relations
- Contemporary Catholic Approaches
- Cooperation in Criminal Matters, Cross-Border
- Courts, International
- Crimes against Humanity
- Criminal Law, International
- Cultural Rights
- Cyber Warfare
- Debt, Sovereign
- Development Law, International
- Dispute Settlement
- Disputes, Peaceful Settlement of
- Drugs, International Regulation, and Criminal Liability
- Early 19th Century, 1789-1870
- Economic Law, International
- Enforcement of Human Rights
- Environmental Compliance Mechanisms
- Environmental Institutions, International
- Environmental Law, International
- European Arrest Warrant
- Extraterritorial Application of Human Rights Treaties
- Feminist Approaches to International Law
- Financial Law, International
- Foreign Investment
- Freedom of Expression
- French Revolution
- General Customary Law
- General Principles of Law
- Grotius, Hugo
- Habeas Corpus
- History of International Law, 1550-1700
- Hostilities, Direct Participation in
- Human Rights
- Human Rights and Regional Protection, Relativism and Unive...
- Human Rights, European Court of
- Human Rights, Foundations of
- Human Trafficking
- Hybrid International Criminal Tribunals
- Immunity, Sovereign
- Indigenous Peoples
- Institutional Law
- International and Non-International Armed Conflict, Detent...
- International Court of Justice
- International Criminal Court, The
- International Criminal Law, Complicity in
- International Humanitarian Law
- International Humanitarian Law, Targeting in
- International Investment Agreements, Fair and Equitable Tr...
- International Investment Arbitration
- International Investment Law, Expropriation in
- International Law, Aggression in
- International Law, Climate Change and
- International Law, Hegemony in
- International Law, Military Intervention in
- International Law, Peacekeeping in
- International Law, Proportionality in
- International Law, Reasonableness in
- International Law, Self-Determination in
- International Law, State Responsibility in
- International Law, the State in
- International Law, the Turn to History in
- International Law, Trade and Development in
- International Law, Unequal Treaties in
- International Law, Use of Force in
- International Trade and Human Rights
- Intervention, Humanitarian
- Investment Protection Treaties
- Islamic Law and Human Rights
- Jurisprudence (Judicial Law-Making)
- Jus Cogens
- Law of Treaties, The
- League of Nations, The
- Lebanon, Special Tribunal for
- Liability for International Environmental Harm
- Maritime Delimitation
- Martens Clause
- Medieval International Law
- Mens Rea, International Crimes
- Military Necessity
- Military Occupation
- Modes of Participation
- Most-Favored-Nation Clauses
- Multinational Corporations in International Law
- Nationality and Statelessness
- Natural Law
- New Approaches to International Law
- Non liquet
- Nonstate Actors
- Nuclear Proliferation
- Nuremberg Trials
- Organizations, International
- Palestine (and the Israel Question)
- Peace Treaties
- Political Science, International Law and
- Protection, Diplomatic
- Public Interest, Human Rights, and Foreign Investment
- Rational Choice Theory
- Russian Approaches to International Law
- Sanctions, International
- Soft Law
- Space Law
- Spanish School of International Law (c. 16th and 17th Cent...
- Sports Law, International
- State of Necessity
- State Succession
- Superior Orders
- Territorial Title
- Theory, Critical International Legal
- Transnational Corruption
- Treaty Interpretation
- Ukrainian Approaches
- Underwater Cultural Heritage
- Unilateral Acts
- Universal Jurisdiction
- Uti Possidetis Iuris
- Vatican and the Holy See
- Victims' Rights, International Criminal Law, and Proceedin...
- Watercourses, International
- Western Sahara