This chapter offers a theoretically informed approach to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees's (UNHCR) action on statelessness. It focuses in particular on the agency's approach to birth registration, documentation, and discrimination, reflecting in each case on the politics of recognition. The chapter considers in particular the situation of some of the states where UNHCR is aware of statelessness and 'risk of statelessness' but lacks reliable data, examining some of their common features and the challenges these pose for eliminating statelessness. It expresses that understanding statelessness and the potential for limiting it will require to acknowledge and challenge the myth that the state system can provide for even a basic universality of human status. The chapter sketches some of the complexity and plurality of political and legal forms of recognition and non-recognition, in particular in states where law is not the primary constituent of personal status.