Conflict management and the political economy of recognition
Complex battlespaces : the law of armed conflict and the dynamics of modern warfare
New York : Oxford University Press, 2019
States increasingly find themselves in competition and conflict with non-State actors, including terrorist networks, insurgencies, separatist regimes, criminal cartels, and other groups. The effects of the law and practice of recognition—including the recognition of States, of governments, and of belligerencies—on conflicts with such illicit non-State actors has been underappreciated. The rules of recognition are not external to these conflicts; they interact with the strategy and the tactics of the parties to the conflict and of third-party States. While States have access to global markets, judicial protections, and the privileges and immunities of sovereignty, unrecognized entities use illegal strategies to find necessary resources to continue their fight. This chapter describes the range of actors that are both involved in violent conflict and also operate on the fringes of recognition. It will review the various aspects of law of recognition and consider practices old and new in order to understand the effects of recognition decisions, including how recognition interacts with the laws of armed conflict. It will also discuss how nonrecognition affects access to resources, such as financing and skilled labor, and the variety of responses by unrecognized entities. To understand the strategy of the illicit non-State actors in conflict with States, one must not only appreciate their motivations and goals, but perceive their constraints. The political economy of conflict is not separate and apart from the public international law of recognition; they are intertwined.