Improving External Involvement in the Settlement of Secessionist Conflicts



In this chapter other forms of external involvement in the settlement of secessionist conflicts are brought to a comprehensive discussion, for the sake of improvement. In order to avoid counterproductive or detrimental external involvement, external actors must first have a clear picture of the legal issues that are included in a secessionist conflict. This forms the indispensable basis for the standardization of external involvement in secessionist conflicts, which should be characterized by finding a balance between various conflicting interests. In balancing various conflicting interests the UN should play a pivotal role, which requires the Security Council and other UN bodies to exercise their power in a more rational manner. Besides, some specific external actions also deserve special attention: mediation, recognition, response to de facto secession and media coverage of secessionist conflicts, all of which can hamper effective conflict settlement if not managed well. Therefore, it is well-advised to render the exercise of mediating power by external actors more rational through standardization, including emphasizing the observation of legally non-binding UN instruments, replacing unsuitable mediators and eschewing artificial deadlines. The issue of recognition should be handled more cautiously: the significance of non-recognition should be recognized; a wish should not be mistakenly recognized as a legal right; the detrimental effects caused by unilateral secession should also be recognized. As for a reasonable response to de facto secession, it is necessary to bear in mind the Latin maxim nullus commodum capere potest de injuria sua propria which can be deemed an aspect of the legal principle of good faith, and the significance of a fair distribution of territorial interests between secessionists and non-secessionists. The influence of the mass media on the settlement of a secessionist conflict should no longer be overlooked either: distorted media coverage will render the public ill-informed, but the public must be well-informed for effective conflict settlement to take place, so it is necessary to take a close look at how distorted media coverage can affect external involvement in conflict settlement.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jing Lu
    • 1
  1. 1.School of LawSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina

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