Earned Sovereignty: An Emerging Conflict Resolution Approach
Paul R. Williams
American University - Washington College of Law
affiliation not provided to SSRN
ILSA JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE LAW, 10:437
Earned sovereignty is a conflict resolution process that creates an opportunity for the parties to agree on basic requirements that the emerging entity must meet during an intermediate phase in order to attain or discuss final status. Rather than forcing the negotiating parties to determine during negotiations whether the sub-state entity may or may not be capable or allowed to exist as an independent state, earned sovereignty allows the parties to make evaluations of the effect of independence on the parent state as well as emerging state’s success at meeting certain benchmarks before determining final status. The core elements of earned sovereignty – shared sovereign power, institution building, and final status – form the structure of this process.
The process of earned sovereignty has evolved without name or structure through its use by international negotiators and state parties to agreements. State parties to peace agreements to peace agreements have already used this process in an attempt resolve the conflicts in Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Serbia/Montenegro, East Timor and Papua New Guinea.
The purpose of this article is two-fold. It attempts to first define and add structure to this evolving process and second to spur interest and debate among those involved in the field. Section one provides an overview of the different core and optional elements that make up the earned sovereignty process. Section two outlines fundamental principle that sovereign authority and functions are both plentiful and severable as internal and external autonomous rights rather than an all or nothing grant of independence.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 10
Keywords: sovereignty, Kosovo, conflict resolution
JEL Classification: N40Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: April 4, 2012 ; Last revised: October 23, 2012
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