The book concludes that if post‐colonial international society is to remain a community of sovereign states properly so‐called, then it is doubtful that there is any sustainable basis for recognizing states other than the one suggested by the nineteenth‐century Anglo‐American doctrine, namely de facto statehood. The most basic reason for this argument is the persistent lack of agreement among parties affected by bids for independence as to who may become independent, and by what self‐determination procedure. While not without its own limitations and problems, the practice of recognizing de facto statehood does have the decisive advantage resting on a workable formula that seeks equilibrium between rights and interests of all parties concerned, namely claimants of statehood, existing states against which such claims are made, and third parties in international society.
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