Governmental Illegitimacy in International Law

Paperback | January 1, 2001

byBrad Roth

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When is a de facto authority not entitled to be considered a 'government' for the purposes of International Law? International reaction to the 1991-4 Haitian crisis is only the most prominent in a series of events that suggest a norm of governmental illegitimacy is emerging to challenge moretraditional notions of state sovereignty. This challenge has dramatic implications for two fundamental legal strictures: that against the use or threat of force against a state's political independence, and that against interference in matters 'essentially' within a state's domestic jurisdiction.Yet although human rights advocates have begun to speak of state sovereignty as an 'anachronism', with some expansively proclaiming the emergence of an international 'right to democratic governance,' international law literature lacks systematic treatment of governmental illegitimacy.This work seeks to specify the international law of collective non-recognition of governments, so as to enable legal evaluation of cases in which competing factions assert governmental authority. It subjects the recognition controversies of the United Nations era to a systematic examination,informed by theoretical and comparative perspectives on governmental legitimacy.The inquiry establishes that the category of 'illegitimate government' now occupies a place in international law, with significant consequences for the legality of intervention in certain instances. The principle of popular sovereignty, hitherto vague and ambiguous, has acquired sufficientdeterminacy to serve, in some circumstances, as a basis for denial of legal recognition to putative governments. This development does not imply, however, the emergence in international law of a meaningful norm of 'democratic governance,' nor would such a norm serve the purposes of the scheme ofsovereign equality of states embodied in the United Nations Charter.

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When is a de facto authority not entitled to be considered a 'government' for the purposes of International Law? International reaction to the 1991-4 Haitian crisis is only the most prominent in a series of events that suggest a norm of governmental illegitimacy is emerging to challenge moretraditional notions of state sovereignty. Thi...

Brad Roth is Assistant Professor of Legal Studies, Law School, Wayne State University, Detroit

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Format:PaperbackPublished:January 1, 2001Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199243018

ISBN - 13:9780199243013

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Table of Contents

1. International Politics, International Law, and the Legitimacy of Domestic Governments2. Legal Legitimacy in Theoretical Perspective3. Popular Sovereignty and Domestic Constitutional Orders4. The Rise and Fall of Revolutionary-Democratic Dictatorship5. Legal Legitimacy and Recognition of Governments: A Doctrinal Guide6. Ascertaining the Will of 'Peoples': Governmental Illegitimacy and Self-Determination7. Two Governments, One State: Recognition Contests and the Use of Force8. Governmental Illegitimacy and Political Participation9. . Haiti and Beyond: Popular Will and De-Legitimation in the 1990s10. Conclusion: Sovereignty and Popular Will

Editorial Reviews

`Roth does an exceptional job of elucidating the issue. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and practitioners.'CHOICE 28/1/00