Wednesday, 3 March 2021

PREVIEW: Chapter One. Territorial Disputes and State Sovereignty

 


Territorial Disputes and State Sovereignty
International Law and Politics

By 

Jorge E. Núñez



Chapter One: Aims/Rationale


A territorial dispute, in simple terms, is a disagreement about “who owns a territory.” Yet it is not that simple. In international relations, “territorial dispute” describes a disagreement between at least two parties about which is the sovereign over a territory. Currently, the most well-known territorial disputes are over the control of Jerusalem, Kashmir, Gibraltar, Catalonia, and the Falkland/Malvinas Islands. Yet there are many more.

The traditional academic literature in legal and political sciences focuses on one element to define such disputes: territory. The phrase “territorial dispute” does not do justice to the multi-level and highly-complex nature of these differences. Instead, the phrase reveals the narrow analysis in these sciences in relation to territorial disputes. There are two basic components for this partial view and the incomplete analysis it generates: the claims, assumptions or beliefs behind these studies; and the lack of an inter-disciplinary and comprehensive evaluation.

Some have gone beyond territory and attempted to include other elements. There are claims that the usual reasons most governments use to support territorial disputes have to do with their domestic agenda (for example, human rights, leader’s prestige, distracting from internal issues by identifying an external foe). Others assume that most of these disputes center on natural resources. Yet others believe they have to do with religious, cultural and/or ethnic elements. Because of these narrow claims, assumptions or beliefs, many territorial disputes spend years or decades in legal and political limbo with many negative consequences domestically, regionally and internationally (for example, arms trafficking, terrorism, violations of human rights, tax evasion, and war). Territorial disputes are multi-level and multi-faceted.

The literature pertaining to territorial disputes is prolific in at least two ways. There are scholars in legal and political sciences who explore to different depths the same differences. There are also publications around the globe that focus on a particular conflict or region, geographically, historically or sociologically defined. Interestingly (and surprisingly), there is not a single scholarly publication that tackles analysis of regional conflicts using a global and inter-disciplinary approach. The current literature about territorial disputes is fragmented. An immediate and evident outcome is that sciences do not work collaboratively and, in consequence, their results are limited by their own methodology (lack of inter-disciplinary evaluation). Furthermore, when there is an attempt to assess disputes in an inter-disciplinary manner, participants limit themselves to a particular conflict or a particular region.

This monograph brings together a global view of territorial disputes and an inter-disciplinary assessment. The global view examines some of the most controversial territorial disputes to work outward from their particularities toward generalizing the issues at stake behind the conflicts. The inter-disciplinary assessment combines legal and political sciences under a basic rule of communication: clarity, cohesiveness, and conciseness. If participants agree on the key conceptual elements, the same methodology can apply to different territorial disputes with the aim of allowing better understanding of these differences, the reasons they began, and why they continue. The monograph offers a set of guidelines for dispute settlement and conflict resolution that current remedies fail to provide.

The rationale is simple yet potentially of very high impact. Many territorial disputes remain unresolved around the world. Current solutions in law, political science, and international relations always prove to be problematic to at least one of the participants in these conflicts and are, consequently, not viable.
The key aims in this book are:

  • To establish key conceptual elements related to territorial disputes that are central to the legal and political sciences: state, sovereignty and self-determination.
  • To compare and contrast the many issues at stake in territorial disputes and the potential remedies currently available.
  • To assess why some territorial disputes remain unresolved.
  • To identify in theory the elements all territorial disputes have in common when they start and as they continue, and why a party may seek and comply with a settlement.
  • To establish some guidelines for policymaking in dispute settlement and conflict resolution.


Book Launch Video






Book launch at the Department of Law, Stockholm University, the Stockholm Centre for International Law and Justice and the Department of Philosophy, Uppsala University.


Available in hardcopy and online:  

Routledge:

Amazon:


NEXT POST:

Book Territorial Disputes and State Sovereignty [Chapter 2: State]
                   
Wednesday 03d March 2021
Dr Jorge Emilio Núñez
Twitter: @DrJorge_World

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

BOOK: Territorial Disputes and State Sovereignty [General Structure and Book Launch Video]

 


Territorial Disputes and State Sovereignty

International Law and Politics

By 


Jorge E. Núñez



General Structure


This monograph has three parts.

PART ONE questions the current methodology for studying territorial disputes in the legal and political sciences, includes the core argument, and establishes key conceptual elements.

Chapter One, the Introduction, defines the overall goal of this project, the meaning of territorial disputes and the reasons to study them, in order to offer a more integrated approach to theory building for future analysis, discussion, and potential resolution of territorial disputes and sovereignty conflicts. There are many reasons for the origin and ongoing nature of these disputes: they are complex (multi-faceted) and although several sciences assess them, these sciences (and people in general) do not apply the same conceptual frame of reference. Therefore, many disagreements have to do with different conceptions, since different departure premises often lead to different conclusions. This chapter exposes the concealed beliefs and unstated assumptions in legal and political sciences with regard to territorial disputes and discusses a renewed vision that could help avoid analytical bias. By neutralizing possible interference from factors that can cause bias and that may lead to a partly unjust, unfair or inaccurate evaluation, analysis focuses on those elements that are pertinent to territorial disputes.

Chapter Two examines the second key element in this project: state. As with territorial disputes, it is a familiar term to many disciplines studying domestic and international affairs. However, these disciplines use the term in various contexts under the assumption it is the same concept when in fact they apply different conceptions to the term in their analysis. As a result, discrepancies in the analysis and evaluation of the same territorial disputes bring about disagreement. This disagreement is superficial, obvious and not relevant to the territorial disputes per se but biased by the a fortiori conditions of the analysis. In relation to territorial disputes in particular, the chapter introduces, defines and characterizes the state’s basic constitutive elements (territory, population, government and law) in legal and political sciences. This and the following chapter demonstrate that the underlying assumption that territorial disputes center on the element “territory” is a misconception.

Chapter Three appraises the concepts of sovereignty and self-determination. Although both are legal and political concepts, sovereignty gives priority to the state whereas self-determination gives preeminent place to the people. This chapter demonstrates that there is no such a thing as absolute sovereignty: in all cases sovereignty is limited and, therefore, shareable. Furthermore, self-determination may lead to solutions other than independence. Scholars can use these two insights to assess, and possibly resolve, territorial disputes by shifting preconceived erroneous views. The first part of the chapter demonstrates that sovereign states have factual and normative limitations and that states may be at odds with each other or cooperate. This is an axiological choice and has nothing to do with sovereignty itself. Indeed, states may accept limitations in order to operate together, limiting their sovereignty while still being considered as fully sovereign. These restrictions in theory and practice may either limit a state’s choices or enhance them. Because territorial disputes can be assessed by reference to territory as well as population, the will of the people who live in the space under dispute requires further exploration. At this point, self-determination becomes relevant to territorial disputes. If sovereignty can be shared, territorial disputes can be centered on elements other than territory and self-determination may lead to solutions other than independence, there is room for territorial disputes to be resolved by cooperative approaches.


PART TWO explores the logic behind territorial disputes and their pervasive nature.

Chapter Four considers how and why territorial disputes start, and why some continue endlessly while others reach a solution. Although relevant, the usually-assumed causes for these differences, such as the strategic location of a territory, its economic value, homogeneity with bordering minorities or a desire for political unification, fail to provide a satisfactory and comprehensive explanation. The chapter examines how domestic context influences the regional and international dimensions, and vice-versa. The hypothesis is that state leaders will take into consideration both external elements related to the regional and international dimensions pertinent to territorial disputes and the internal situation because it links directly to their domestic political prestige.
Some territorial disputes escalate into conflict. This happens when the claiming state threatens or resorts to coercion (political, military, financial, etc.) to obtain sovereignty over the disputed territory. The chapter argues that, while international elements may explain the escalation into conflict, they do not necessarily explain the origins of the disputes. Conversely, local and regional elements that give birth to these disputes are not sufficient conditions for their escalation. Empirical data supports these claims.

Chapter Five discusses the main remedies applied at the international level to territorial disputes and why these alternatives are not the solution to some well-known and long-standing differences. The chapter finishes by introducing egalitarian shared sovereignty as a means to deal with such disputes.[1]


PART THREE considers some current, well-known, and long-standing territorial disputes, divided by regions.

Chapter Six introduces and explores controversial cases in the Americas to demonstrate why these territorial disputes seem to continue endlessly without resolution. The analysis shows how territorial disputes have a multi-faceted and multi-layered nature that includes law, politics, nationalism, national identity, natural resources, prestige, and many other elements and issues with domestic, regional and international dimensions. The differences between Peru and Ecuador, Colombia and Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Nicaragua, Mexico and United States, and some others demonstrate that most of the territorial disputes in the Americas date back to colonial times and the way that former colonial powers divided territory that was once sociologically integrated. These conflicts demonstrate that, although the claiming parties may achieve a settlement, domestic, regional and international issues at stake may still turn the situation volatile, and that regional guarantors are key in peacekeeping.

Chapter Seven evaluates ongoing disputes in Europe and Asia. The chapter has two main sections: the first one looks at cases that involve two ethnic or national groups living in the same territory, neither of which wants to belong to a state dominated by the other (the cases of Crimea, Gibraltar, Cyprus and Northern Ireland illustrate this segment). The section introduces, compares, contrasts and appraises domestic, regional and international issues at stake, such as geopolitical importance, nationalism, national identity, territorial integrity and historical entitlement. The second section centers on geostrategic location locally, regionally and globally, with a focus on the cases of Kashmir and the South China Sea. This section pays particular attention to an often-overlooked element: the major role that non-regional parties and their interests play in the origin, continuation and potential escalation of territorial disputes.

Chapter Eight examines current disputes in Africa and the Middle East. The first section demonstrates that current territorial disputes and sovereignty conflicts in Africa have colonial roots. As in the Americas, former colonial powers artificially divided what used to be sociologically-homogeneous territories. The assessment shows how European understanding in legal and political sciences is not appropriate to comprehending the complexity of these realities. The last section assesses the Arab-Israeli conflict. The analysis evaluates domestic, regional and international issues at stake, with particular focus on the influence of religion, geopolitical importance and leaders’ prestige.

Chapter Nine brings together the main points of this monograph, highlights their explanatory importance in law and political science, and points to possible further implications. The value of these implications is twofold: highlighting the many connections at the theoretical level that different territorial disputes present and establishing some guidelines for policymaking.



Book Launch Video






Book launch at the Department of Law, Stockholm University, the Stockholm Centre for International Law and Justice and the Department of Philosophy, Uppsala University.


Available in hardcopy and online:  

Routledge:

Amazon:


NEXT POST:

Book Territorial Disputes and State Sovereignty [Chapter 1: Abstract]
                   
Tuesday 02nd March 2021
Dr Jorge Emilio Núñez
Twitter: @DrJorge_World

Monday, 1 March 2021

BOOK: Territorial Disputes and State Sovereignty [Description, Introduction and Book Launch Video]

 


Territorial Disputes and State Sovereignty

International Law and Politics

By 

Jorge E. Núñez


Book Description


Adopting a multi-disciplinary approach, this book opens new ground for research on territorial disputes.
Many sovereignty conflicts remain unresolved around the world. Current solutions in law, political science and international relations generally prove problematic to at least one of the agents part of these differences. 
Arguing that disputes are complex, multi-layered and multi-faceted, this book brings together a global, inter-disciplinary view of territorial disputes. The book reviews the key conceptual elements central to legal and political sciences with regards to territorial disputes: state, sovereignty and self-determination. 
Looking at some of the current long-standing disputes worldwide, it compares and contrasts the many issues at stake and the potential remedies currently available in order to assess why some territorial disputes remain unresolved. 
Finally, it offers a set of guidelines for dispute settlement and conflict resolution that current remedies fail to provide. 

Book Launch Video





Book launch at the Department of Law, Stockholm University, the Stockholm Centre for International Law and Justice and the Department of Philosophy, Uppsala University.

Introduction


There are many disputes in which international agents claim exclusive and conflicting sovereign rights over the same territory. These confrontations have a particular feature: their solution seems to require a mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive relationship between the agents because only one of them will gain acknowledged sovereignty over the territory under dispute, a sovereignty the other must acknowledge. Indeed, sovereignty is an absolute concept: exclusive and not shareable.

Contemporary events such as the rise of the Islamic State and the failure and potential dismemberment of states from the Caucasus to the Middle East mean that recognition of sovereignty as a binding legal norm is not static within a nation; but the concept of transferable, shared sovereignty remains a major unresolved topic in international law, international politics and international relations. Events such as the Ukrainian Crisis and Russia’s foray into Crimea demonstrate that sovereignty is dynamic and fluid, flowing at times from one country to another by some event of political restructuring within the international community or the shifting sands of geopolitics.

The issues at stake in these disputes are highly complex, with domestic, regional and international components of varying potency. Although these differences are commonly described in legal and political sciences as territorial disputes, the nomenclature does not reflect their complexity and makes evident the superficial nature of the assessment.

International relations and legal and political scholarly literature offer potential remedies to solve sovereignty conflicts. These include independence, self-determination and free association. Although these remedies are useful in certain conflicts, they are futile in others. First, the assumptions, concepts and consequences one discipline may take as self-evident, logically coherent and scientifically binding may be exclusive to that community of experts and not necessarily shared by the broader scientific society or the entities in a sovereignty conflict. Hence, many conflicts remain unresolved and in a legal and political limbo. Second, studies in relation to these disputes and possible remedies for them are limited because they center only on a particular conflict or region. With this fragmented analysis of territorial disputes (fragmented because of the methodology of the science of reference, and the object of study) outcomes are inevitably of limited significance in theory and in practice.

This monograph aims to fill a major gap in law and political science, and to provide a global and inter-disciplinary study of territorial disputes that can develop general guidelines for dispute settlement and conflict resolution that current remedies fail to offer.

There are two premises underlying this research on territorial disputes and state sovereignty. First, a better understanding of international conflict requires a global and inter-disciplinary assessment. At present, scholarly literature on these differences tends to focus on a conflict, a region or a discipline. Two important consequences of this focus are that territorial disputes are not examined in their full complexity and that elements common to many of these disputes are not identified. This book addresses both these gaps.

The second focus is to define a set of key conceptual elements for the evaluation of territorial disputes in order to integrate findings from many studies and develop more general theories of international law and politics. Theoretical frameworks provide the hermeneutical means to generalize behavior in a clear, cohesive, and concise manner. They also enable subsequent studies to sharpen their focus and identify more clearly variables that may appear to be particular to a certain dispute but in fact have wider application. 

This book integrates two approaches to the study of international relations, the modified realist model and case studies, to generate hypotheses about territorial disputes and state sovereignty. The modified realist model allows the consideration of the simultaneous impact of domestic- and international-level variables. Examination of case studies lets us test the generated hypotheses. If these approaches to studying international relations can be integrated, the resulting theoretical framework should have considerable power to support better understanding of territorial disputes. At the same time, these theoretical models can be carefully subjected to empirical analysis.


Available in hardcopy and online:  

Routledge:

Amazon:


NEXT POST:

Book Territorial Disputes and State Sovereignty [General Structure]
                   
Monday 01st March 2021
Dr Jorge Emilio Núñez
Twitter: @DrJorge_World

Friday, 26 February 2021

"Climate Change Ethics for an Endangered World" [Book Launch] by Dr Thom Brooks [video]

 


Climate Change Ethics for an Endangered World 

[Book Launch]

Dr Thom Brooks 

Professor, Dean & Chair in Law and Government, Durham Law School, United Kingdom.


Juris North Monthly Discussion

Wednesday 24th February 2021.



Friday 26th February 2021
Dr Jorge Emilio Núñez
Twitter: @DrJorge_World

Territorial disputes: Final Recap 2021 (10 of 10) [Post 200]

 


Final recap. [10 of 10]: The Persian Gulf


The Persian Gulf presents several TERRITORIAL DISPUTES in which several international agents claim sovereign rights for different reasons over the same area. 
Regionally, with a direct or indirect implication, we have Saudi Arabia, Iran, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Iraq. 
In addition to the regional claimants, there are many other international actors. The previous posts introduced the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia and China. 

The solution seems to require a mutually exclusive relation amongst them because it is assumed that the sovereignty over the disputes territories can be granted to only one of them. Indeed, sovereignty is often regarded as an absolute concept (that is to say, exclusive, and not shareable).

NOTE: The last posts this year include a recap of all we have covered so far by including daily the relevant links.


Posts 161 to 190: The Persian Gulf


































NOTE:  

This post is based on Jorge Emilio Núñez, Territorial Disputes and State Sovereignty. International Law and Politics (Routledge 2020).
Previous published research monograph about territorial disputes and sovereignty by the author, Jorge Emilio Núñez, Sovereignty Conflicts and International Law and Politics: A Distributive Justice Issue London and New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2017.


Friday 26th February 2021
Dr Jorge Emilio Núñez
Twitter: @DrJorge_World
https://drjorge.world

Thursday, 25 February 2021

Territorial disputes: Final Recap 2021 (9 of 10) [Post 199]

 


Final recap. [9 of 10]: Africa


The posts about Africa in this blog series TERRITORIAL DISPUTES have made clear so far that although there are particular elements related only to each individual difference, there is still a constant issue: colonialism and imperialism and the way in which the borders were delineated by powers outside Africa. Arguably, despite we could assume good will at the time these borders were agreed, it is a fact they were designed taken into account interests that may coincide with those of the Africans but do not necessarily do.

Even though we may forget the colonial past and the roots of current conflict and poverty in Africa, the same non-regional agents that once divided the continent are still taking advantage in different ways.

Conflict induced displacement includes those who are forced to flee their homes for many reasons: armed conflict including civil war, generalized violence, and persecution on the grounds of nationality, race, religion, political opinion or social group. Forced migration also occurs in response to border disputes, which have led to violent conflicts in several countries.

NOTE: The last posts this year include a recap of all we have covered so far by including daily the relevant links.


Posts 136 to 160: Africa






























NOTE:  

This post is based on Jorge Emilio Núñez, Territorial Disputes and State Sovereignty. International Law and Politics (Routledge 2020).
Previous published research monograph about territorial disputes and sovereignty by the author, Jorge Emilio Núñez, Sovereignty Conflicts and International Law and Politics: A Distributive Justice Issue London and New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2017.

NEXT POST: 

Final recap. [10 of 10]: The Persian Gulf


Thursday 25th February 2021
Dr Jorge Emilio Núñez
Twitter: @DrJorge_World
https://drjorge.world