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By Anne-Marie Gardner

This booklet investigates even if overseas criteria of excellent governance are utilized to sub-state actors in addition to to states.   by way of studying the foreign reaction to self-determination claims, this venture demonstrates that the overseas group does certainly carry sub-state teams liable to such standards.  Claimant teams that experience internalized human rights and democratic norms usually tend to obtain overseas aid within the kind of empowerment (promoting a few type of self-governance).   to demonstrate the causal forces at paintings, the booklet provides 3 qualitative case studies--Kosovo, Nagorno-Karabakh, and the Western Sahara--to display that predictable alterations within the foreign reaction ensue as overseas belief of every claimant group’s democratic checklist varies over time. 

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In the case of Western Sahara, the Legalist approach describes the framing of the case fairly accurately until a recent shift to a greater emphasis on human rights and democracy. This change could be accommodated by a framework that focuses on the evolving relationship between the parties or on a range of outcomes associated with recognizing a valid selfdetermination claim. Thus, one can’t fully explain state behavior if one focuses only on whether behavior is determined by the existing and clarified law on self-determination; the law itself is in transition as potential new customary law emerges.

But the refusal of the international community to acknowledge this outcome until recently—and even then, far from unanimously— also deserves critical analysis. For years, the United Nations offered settlement proposals featuring multiethnic democratic institutions and minority rights as the pathway to a stable and viable Kosovo. The territory’s status as a de facto international protectorate under the aegis of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) for almost a decade placed unparalleled governance responsibilities in the hands of the international community.

These norms are unique in that they focus on domestic governance and institutions as applied to substate actors—thus providing international standards for judging internal relationships and behavior, resulting in predictable patterns of international response to such claims. 15 I posit that the international community utilizes a normative framework to judge the claims and behavior of the domestic actors, assessing the claimant group’s capacity for democracy: how well does the group reflect emerging standards of democratic governance that are increasingly applied to states?

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