Traditions of belligerent recognition : the Libyan intervention in historical and theoretical context
Sam Foster Halabi
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American university international law review, Vol. 27, no. 2, 2012, p. 321-389
This article argues that, far from "crazy", these states' decisions to recognize the opposition were largely consistent with historical patterns in the recognition of civil war and how it will be managed by third-party states. While states might extend equal rights to the parties to a civil war before ultimately recognizing a victorious authority, they are just as likely to abruptly switch recognition or otherwise categorize the conflict in a way that advances their interests. [...] This article therefore posits a second thesis : while the customary international law that developed to manage civil wars did not, in fact, effectively regulate state behavior, it did reflect an underlying tendency for states to balance both individual and collective interests in the creation of new states of the change of regime in existing ones.
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