Unrecognized States: Theory, Cases and Policy Implications


Unrecognized states destabilize the international system and impoverish their residents. Thus, unrecognized statehood is a profoundly undesirable outcome, and yet it is often a stable equilibrium. Game theoretic modeling has proven effective at clarifying the strategic logic that sustains unrecognized states, and offers insight into possible paths to resolution. In this chapter we draw on these insights, and illustrate them with discussion individual cases. The game theory on which we draw analyzes not only the actions of unrecognized states and the home states from which they are attempting to secede, but also the patrons that support these unrecognized states and the actors in the international community who work to induce peaceful settlement. In this piece we focus particularly on evaluating the policy options available to peace and development-seeking actors in the international community as they work to resolve these stalemated conflicts.

Overcoming Intractable Conflicts: New Approaches to Constructive Transformations; Miriam Elman, Catherine Gerard, Galia Golan, and Louis Kriesberg, eds. London: Rowman & Littlefield (2019)
Kristy Buzard
Kristy Buzard
Associate Professor of Economics

My current research focuses on the formation and maintenance of international trade agreements, conflict resolution, and innovation. I am particularly interested in the impact of international institutions, government structure and domestic political pressure on the possibilities for cooperation.