The role of international actors in state secession and recognition: the case of Kosovo

Kartsonaki, Argyro (2016). The role of international actors in state secession and recognition: the case of Kosovo. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Although in recent years studies on secession and self-determination have increased, research on why secessions succeed remains limited. This thesis contributes to filling this gap by arguing that a secession can be regarded as successful when it results in the creation of a recognised and viable entity. In order to examine this assumption empirically, the thesis applied a process-tracing methodology to the case study of Kosovo, a case that had both an unsuccessful attempt to secede in 1991 and a far more successful one in 2008. It discovered that changes taking place at four different levels, local, state, regional and global, from 1991 to 2008, created the conditions for Kosovo to ensure international support from influential states that would promote its international recognition and would support its internal viability after it unilaterally declared independence for the second time. Finally, this thesis, recognising that Kosovo’s statehood is still contested, has expanded the initial assumption of international recognition and internal viability and concluded that a unilateral secession is successful when the extent of international recognition and internal viability renders it irreversible.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Government and Society
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DR Balkan Peninsula
J Political Science > JZ International relations


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