chapter  11
24 Pages

Reintegrating unrecognized states: internationalizing frozen conflicts: Liam Anderson


The purpose of this chapter is to examine systematically the range of “alternative destinations” for unrecognized states (Geldenhuys 2009: 45) with a particular focus on options for reintegration with the parent state. Though it is problematic to assume a priori that the other two major alternatives – recognized independence, and forced reintegration into the parent – are necessarily less normatively desirable than a peaceful reunion, there is a reasonable case to be made that some form of extensive autonomy, perhaps coupled with power-sharing arrangements, creates fewer problems than the alternatives. To this end, the analysis proceeds as follows. In section one, I use the definitional criteria outlined in the introduction to this volume to identify the universe of post-World War II unrecognized states. These include unrecognized states that are no longer with us, such as Katanga and Biafra, and those that have endured to the present day, such as South Ossetia and Somaliland. In the second section, I consider a broad range of potential destinations for unrecognized states and briefly analyze the pros and cons of each. Section three draws on the historical record to chart the fate of expired unrecognized states. The intention here is to discern patterns of outcomes, which can then yield plausible insights into the future of today’s unrecognized states. A first cut indicates that the support of a powerful protector state is key to the survival of unrecognized states, which in turn implies that any deal to reintegrate unrecognized states into parents peacefully will depend critically on the involvement of the protector. I conclude with some constructive suggestions for what the contours of such a deal might look like.