This new handbook provides a comprehensive and multidisciplinary overview of the theoretical and empirical aspects of state recognition in international politics.

Although the recognition of states plays a central role in shaping global politics, it remains an under-researched and widely dispersed subject. Coherently and innovatively structured, the handbook brings together a group of international scholars who examine the most important theoretical and comparative perspectives on state recognition, including debates about pathways to secession and self-determination, the broad range of actors and strategies that shape the recognition of states and a significant number of contemporary case studies.

The handbook is organised into four key sections:

  • Theoretical and normative perspectives
  • Pathways to independent statehood
  • Actors, forms and the process of state recognition
  • Case studies of contemporary state recognition

This handbook will be of great interest to students of foreign policy, international relations, international law, comparative politics and area studies.

Chapter 19 of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF at https://www.taylorfrancis.com under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license. 

chapter 1|22 pages


Statehood and recognition in world politics

part I|2 pages

Theoretical and normative perspectives

part II|2 pages

Pathways to independent statehood

part III|2 pages

Actors, forms and the process of state recognition

chapter 15|14 pages

Bilateral recognition of states

chapter 16|15 pages

Recognition of governments

chapter 17|11 pages

Statehood and collective recognition

Practice of states and UN organs

chapter 19|15 pages

Engagement without recognition

chapter 20|14 pages

Parliamentary recognition

chapter 21|12 pages

Recognition of states by regional organisations

The European Union’s contested experience

chapter 25|17 pages

The derecognition of states

part IV|16 pages

Case studies of contemporary state recognition

chapter 27|16 pages


chapter 28|13 pages


chapter 29|15 pages

Western Sahara

chapter 30|11 pages

South Sudan

chapter 31|15 pages


chapter 32|13 pages


chapter 33|16 pages

Abkhazia and South Ossetia