Why do so many states adopt a position of non-recognition of gains from war?
Despite being proven ineffective as a coercive tool or deterrent, the international community has actively withheld recognition in numerous instances of territorial conquest since the 1930s. Joseph O'Mahoney systematically analyses 21 case studies – including the Manchurian Crisis, the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and Russia’s annexation of Crimea – to explore why so many states have adopted a policy of non-recognition of the spoils of war.
By drawing on historical sources including recently declassified archival documents, he evaluates states’ decision-making. He develops a new theory for non-recognition as a symbolic sanction aimed at reproducing common knowledge of the rules of international behaviour.
Chapter-length case studies of two major instances of non-recognition: the Japanese conquest of Manchuria and the establishment of Manchukuo in the 1930s, and the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and the subsequent declaration of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Includes discussion of cases including Russia’s annexation of Crimea
Compares non-recognised cases with two cases where force was used but the results were recognised as legitimate: the Italian conquest of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in 1935 and the Indian invasion of East Pakistan and the creation of Bangladesh in 1971
Challenges conventional IR theory that symbolic sanctions are either failed attempts at coercion or mere posturing for domestic audiences
Elucidates a model of rule maintenance, combining rationalist and constructivist insights, which could be applied to other fields in international politics