The Derecognition Approach: Government Illegality, Recognition, and Non-Violent Regime Change
58 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2013
Date Written: 2013
This Article proposes that the international community should actively use recognition policy as a novel way of dealing with repressive regimes in the international system. Specifically, states and international organizations should consider the derecognition of dictatorial regimes that face mass non-violent opposition from their population and that choose to meet this opposition with violence rather than reform. Such a program is justified by the illegality of the regimes in question and is predicated on the principle that non-violent, diplomatic intervention — and even regime change — is preferable to full-scale military intervention in dealing with such situations, particularly as a first step. Derecognition is advanced as a non-violent approach to intervention, a concept which could incentivize peaceful domestic resistance as opposed to violence and potential civil war. The subject is particularly relevant given events in the Middle East since 2011 and the various attempts by dictatorial regimes to violently suppress popular revolution in, most notably, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, and Syria.
Keywords: Public International Law, Recognition, Revolution, Regime Change, Intervention, Responsibility to Protect
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