The Role of Democracy in the Recognition of De Facto States: An Empirical Assessment
Özpek, Burak Bilgehan
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De facto states are regarded as political authorities functioning within a certain territory without international legal recognition. However, de facto states aim to gain the recognition of other states in order to be considered legitimate actors in the international system. There are two main contending approaches that attempt to explain the factors motivating third-party states' recognition behavior. The realist approach argues that national interest shapes the recognition strategy of third-party states while the liberal argument highlights the role of democracy in the recognition process. This article tests the validity of hypotheses derived from these two approaches through an examination of third-party states' levels of democracy and data regarding their recognition of de facto states since 1991.