The Strategic Use of Legitimizing Norms in Unilateral Declarations of Independence

Dr Argyro Kartsonaki

Norms can be instrumentalised and manipulated to serve any kind of interests: personal, national or international. This article by Argyro Kartsonaki sheds light on how secessionists instrumentalize universal norms in their unilateral declarations of independence (UDIs) to legitimize their pursuit of statehood and increase their chances of attracting international support. The article shows that secessionists strategically manipulate the use of norms and formulate their declarations to appeal to the endorsed legitimizing norms of the international order at the time of their secession. UDIs therefore reflect the normative trends of any given international order signalling also transitions from one order to another.

The article is published open-access by Global Studies Quarterly: