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Part II Predominant Security Challenges and International Law, International Security, Ch.15 Contested Territory

Christopher J Borgen

From: The Oxford Handbook of the International Law of Global Security

Edited By: Robin Geiß, Nils Melzer

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 22 May 2024

Subject(s):
International organizations — Recognition — Boundaries — Use of force, war, peace and neutrality

This chapter describes the theory and practice of territorial contestation, past, present, and possibly future. It sketches the evolution of the so-called ‘modes of acquisition’ of territory and other concepts through different eras. Territorial disputes are perhaps the quintessential problem of public international law. In its transformation from the ancient world, through feudalism, and into the Westphalian system of States, territory has been repeatedly reconceptualized and reorganized from an era of frontiers to a modern world segmented by borders. This modern compartmentalization of territory emphasizes the concept of rightful ownership of title. The chapter then looks at the methods of resolving territorial disputes. It discusses political and military responses to territorial contests and judicial resolution. The chapter focuses on the particular role that recognition plays in resolving territorial disputes.

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