Power and Recognition: How (Super)Powers Decide the International Recognition Process

Martin Riegl, Bohumil Doboš, Osman Antwi-Boateng, Geraldine Maria O'Mahony, Roberta Haar, Salvador J. Peralta, Mackie Messer, Kurt Rickerd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The article offers a modified theoretical approach toward the issue of secession and international recognition. Based on the novel political theory of secession as presented by Milena Sterio and the measurement of external involvement in secessionist attempts as researched by Alexis Heraclides, the article provides a theoretical model of modified (super)power rule. The article, based on preliminary conclusions from an internal dataset of secessionist attempts between 1946 and 2016 containing 63 items, argues that effective (super)power support is a sufficient condition for the de facto independence of any secessionist entity. The model is tested on cases of Somaliland, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Kosovo, and Transnistria. Related Articles: Antwi-Boateng, Osman, and Geraldine Maria O'Mahony. 2008. “A Framework for the Analysis of Peace Agreements and Lessons Learned: The Case of the Sudanese Comprehensive Peace Agreement.” Politics & Policy 36 (1): 132-178. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1747-1346.2007.00097.x. Haar, Roberta. 2015. “When Does the United States Intervene Militarily for Humanitarian Reasons?” Politics & Policy 43 (2): 287-314. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/polp.12111. Peralta, Salvador J. 2013. “Do Culture and Institutions Matter? Explaining the Sources of Cross-National Regime Support.” Politics & Policy 41 (4): 479-508. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/polp.12024. Related Media: Messer, Mackie. 2015. “The Coconut Revolution.” http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2x5eul. Rickerd, Kurt. 2014. “Katanga, the Untold Story (of UN Betrayal).” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvgBvwfW5Dw. XBN. 2015. “Transnistria: Places that Don't Exist.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiioOj85X9E. Vice News. 2014. “The Sahara's Forgotten War.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ju4WrjiJbGc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-471
Number of pages30
JournalPolitics and Policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • (Super)Power Support
  • Geopolitics
  • International Recognition
  • International Relations
  • Kosovo
  • National Independence
  • Nationalism
  • Post-Cold War International Politics
  • Role of External Powers
  • SADR
  • Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
  • Secession
  • Somaliland
  • Sovereign National Statehood
  • Transnistria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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