Join us for our first in-person Business Meeting at the General Conference in Innsbruck!

The Research Network on Statehood, Sovereignty and Conflict Business Meeting will take place on Thursday 18:00 – 19:00 (25/08/2022) in Building: A, Floor: 4, Room: SR19. Click here to add it to your itinerary. We are looking forward to meeting everyone in person!

Seminar Series, Friday, 1 July, 18:00-19:00 UK time- please register here by June 26

‘Who Rules Where Over Whom When the Fighting Stops: How States and Secessionists Control Territory and People After Separatist Wars’. Speaker: Nicholas Barker, University of Birmingham. Discussant: Megan Stewart, American University’s School of International Service.

Abstract: My book project, Who Rules Where Over Whom When the Fighting Stops: How States and Secessionists Control Territory and People After Separatist Wars, presents a study of the termination and aftermath of secessionist wars, using a theory building research strategy with two case studies – the Georgia-Abkhazia conflict (covering the period 1994-2006) and the Serbia-Kosovo conflict (1999-2008) – to develop an empirically-grounded theoretical framework which tries to explain state and secessionist post-war strategies for controlling territory and populations. I draw on fieldwork and archival research carried out in Georgia, Abkhazia, Serbia, Kosovo and the UN archives in New York, and present further evidence to evaluate and extend the framework from ‘shadow cases’ of secessionist wars in the Caucasus, the Balkans and Eastern Europe, contributing to knowledge of how post-war political orders are formed and contested. Chapter Two presents the book’s theoretical framework. First, it conceptualises control strategies (the outcome of interest) in terms of the constitutive features of territorial and demographic control. Second, it theorises states’ and secessionists’ post-war objectives in terms of a cleavage of reincorporation versus full separation which is broken down into objectives about revising or preserving de facto control, reflecting the constraints of a post-war environment (constrained objectives, the main explanatory factor). Third, it identifies territorial and demographic features of post-war environments that actors use to translate objectives into strategies. Fourth, it provides an argument about how the parts fit together: objectives explain control strategies, mediated by the constraints and opportunities of the environment, with actors adopting control strategies in the expectation that doing so will establish or influence the ‘facts on the ground’ of territorial and demographic control in a way that aligns with their constrained objective and brings about the intended outcome. Fifth, the framework provides expectations about which control strategies are associated with particular constrained objectives (the observable implications).

Seminar Series, Tuesday, 7 June, 18:00-19:00 UK time – please register here by May 31

‘Citizenship in De Facto States: Comparative analysis of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transnistria’, Ramesh Ganohariti, Dublin City University. Discussant: Gezim Krasniqi, University of Edinburgh.

Abstract: The contested nature of the de facto state results in an unclear and contested legal (citizenship) status for people residing in these polities. Krasniqi (2019) argues that this ambiguous legal status of de facto states can result in their citizens not having full rights as those afforded to citizens from recognised states, and thereby possess liminal citizenship. In other words, de facto state citizens are neither nationals nor stateless (Bryant, 2014; Krasniqi, 2019), but concurrently can be seen as both, and “more often than not … are ‘invisible’ when it comes to international law” (Krasniqi, 2019, p. 5). My work argues that multiplicity is a more encompassing concept vis-à-vis liminality when discussing citizenship in de facto states. This research argues that liminality paints a partial picture of citizenship. Multiplicity acknowledges the intersectionality and entanglement of multiple citizenship regimes, each with different degrees of recognition, and with each citizenship comprising of three core dimensions: legal status, rights and duties, and belonging/identity based (Bloemraad et al., 2008; Delanty, 2000; Joppke, 2010; Kochenov, 2019). Thus, my presentation will discuss the explanatory power of the concept of “multiplicity” when researching citizenship in contested territories.

Seminar Series, Monday 2 May, 18:00-19:00 UK time- please register here by April 25.

‘Life-cycle documentation issued by old and new states, between real and make-believe’, Marika Sosnowski, German Institute for Global and Area Studies. Discussant: Cindy Wittke, Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Politics.

Abstract: This paper examines how the tripartite relationship – between the state, the law and people – is unsettled and contested in civil war environments through the issuance of life-cycle event documentation (such as birth, death and marriage certificates) by actors other than the old, established state. It does this in the context of one of the most critical conflicts of our time, the Syrian civil war. Since the uprising in 2011 and subsequent civil war began in Syria in 2012, a range of actors have set up new states, developed legal systems and provided life-cycle documentation to people living within the areas they control in order to claim them as citizens. To analyse this so far vastly under-researched phenomenon, this article provides a conceptual discussion of this practice, backed up by empirical data, along three different, but complementary, lines of enquiry that all materially manifest in life-cycle documents: the performative nature of the state; the order-making abilities of the law; and, people caught in citizenship constellations. While a great deal of work has already been done to explain the tenuous, yet resilient, foundations upon which all nation-states rest, these three threads shift our gaze away from the obvious places where power is promulgated and enforced to elucidate how life-cycle documentation can be used to both undermine and support these structures.

We have designed this series as an opportunity for graduate students, post-docs, and early-career tenure track faculty to get feedback on their work. Therefore, please note that registered attendees will be expected to have read the paper in advance and be ready to offer feedback during the seminar, alongside the discussant. You will be forwarded the paper a week before the seminar. 

We look forward to seeing many of you in this and the following seminars. Any questions, please email the coordinator of the series Dimitra Mareta at

Call for ECR submissions for new seminar series!

We would like to announce a seminar series for early career researchers. We have designed this series as an opportunity for graduate students, post-docs, and early-career tenure track faculty to get feedback on their work.

The seminars will be structured as 1-hour zoom sessions, with the early career participant briefly and informally introducing their work and a discussant and registered attendees providing feedback. All registered attendees will be expected to read the paper in advance.  Presenters will be invited to recommend their discussant, so this is an extra opportunity to connect to and receive feedback from specific scholars (in the network, or beyond). We hope this format provides participants with feedback that they can incorporate into their work as they advance in their careers.

If you are interested in having your work discussed, please email our Seminar Coordinator, Dimitra Mareta, at with a 150-word abstract, a list of at least 3 potential discussants in order of preference (and Dimitra will try secure one of them), and your availability for the following dates (times are CET, please identify all the dates and times you are available):

April 6, 18:00-19:00 | April 7, 19:00-20:00 | May 2, 18:00-19:00 | June 7, 18:00-19:00 | June 7, 19:00-20:00

Please share this call with ECRs in your network. For any questions, please reach out to Dimitra.

Call for Panel and Paper Proposals!

We are very excited to announce that a Research Network proposal for the creation of a section titled “Pushing the Boundaries of Research on Statehood, Sovereignty, and Conflict” at the ECPR General Conference 2022 has been accepted. The full program, including our section details can be found here. We encourage the submission of proposals from Network members in particular. Please reach out to the steering committee with any questions.

Call for Papers!

Network members Valentin Clavé-Mercier and Karolina Werner are pleased to announce that they will be holding a ECPR Joint Sessions (virtual) workshop on “Sovereignty, Governance, and Indigenous Peoples: Engaging with Indigenous Political Thought”. Paper proposals are invited from everyone in the network (and beyond) interested in the workshop. Submissions can be made here and are due on February 2, 2022. Please find the call for papers attached.

Join our Business Meeting!

The business meeting of the Statehood, Sovereignty and Conflict Research Network will take place via Zoom on Monday, 30 August 2021 from 17:00 – 18:00 CEST. The zoom link has been emailed to all members. If you are not yet a member or did not receive it, please email and we will share it with you!

Launch of the Research Network!

On 28 June 2021, our Research Network was launched through an online event that included a keynote talk by Nina Caspersen (University of York) on ‘De Facto States Then and Now- Reflections on a Dynamic (Not Frozen!) Field of Research’ and a Roundtable discussion on Conflict Knowledge in Times of Global Crisis and Digitalisation with Roxanna Andrei (University of Coimbra), Oscar Mateos (Blanquerna-URL), Solveig Richter (University of Leipzig) and Sam Ritholz (University of Oxford).  Follow here to view the recording of the keynote talk and the roundtable

CALL FOR PAPERS! Secession and (Post-)Liberal International Relations

We are inviting abstract submissions for an online workshop on Secession and (Post-)Liberal International Relations to take place 3-5 November 2021. For more information, please see the call for papers below.