Enduring Territorial Disputes

Enduring Territorial Disputes: Strategies of Bargaining, Coercive Diplomacy, and Settlement

Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 376
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  • Book Info
    Enduring Territorial Disputes
    Book Description:

    Of all the issues in international relations, disputes over territory are the most salient and most likely to lead to armed conflict. Understanding their endurance is of paramount importance. Although many states have settled their disagreements over territory, seventy-one disputes involving nearly 40 percent of all sovereign states remain unresolved. In this study, Krista E. Wiegand examines why some states are willing and able to settle territorial disputes while others are not. She argues that states may purposely maintain disputes over territory in order to use them as bargaining leverage in negotiations over other important unresolved issues. This dual strategy of issue linkage and coercive diplomacy allows the chal­lenger state to benefit from its territorial claim. Under such conditions, it has strong incentive to pursue diplomatic and militarized threats and very little incentive to settle the dispute over territory. Wiegand tests her theory in four case studies, three representing the major types of territorial disputes: uninhabited islands and territorial waters, as seen in tensions between China and Japan over the Senkaku and Diaoyu Islands; inhabited tracts of territory, such as the North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla affecting Morocco and Spain; and border areas, like the Shebaa Farms dispute between Lebanon and Israel. A fourth case study of a dispute between China and Russia represents a combination of all three types; settled in 2008, it serves as a negative example. All these disputes involve areas that have key strategic and economic importance both region­ally and globally.

    eISBN: 978-0-8203-4190-3
    Subjects: Political Science, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xiv)
    Krista E. Wiegand
    (pp. xv-xviii)
  5. CHAPTER ONE The Endurance of Territorial Disputes
    (pp. 1-17)

    Despite the rise of globalization and an increasingly interdependent economy where borders seem to matter less and less (Ruggie 1993), the persistence of dozens of active territorial disputes worldwide suggests that territory still matters. States can potentially dispute many issues—type of government, resources, trade, and weapons proliferation, among others—but territorial disputes are by far the most detrimental type of interstate dispute, and they are at the root of many other disputes such as those involving arms, nuclear proliferation, and resources. Many states invest heavily in their military capabilities to deal specifically with territorial disputes. Unless their sovereignty is...

  6. CHAPTER TWO Previous Research on Territorial Dispute Strategies
    (pp. 18-40)

    Though territorial disputes are considered to be the most obvious illustration of zero-sum conflicts (Kratochwil 1985), the majority of states involved in territorial disputes in the twentieth century have attempted to resolve their disputes peacefully, and very few have been resolved through armed conflict. Territory is also generally considered to be the most salient issue and the issue most likely to cause armed conflict compared to other disputed issues (Diehl 1991, 1992; Forsberg 1996; Gochman and Leng 1983; Goertz and Diehl 1992; Hensel 1999, 2001; Herz 1957; Huth 1996; Luard 1970; Senese 1999; Senese and Vasquez 2008; Vasquez 1993; Vasquez...

  7. CHAPTER THREE Territorial Disputes as Bargaining Leverage
    (pp. 41-68)

    When a state claims territory that is disputed or belongs to another state, the assumption is that the challenger state wants to change the status quo by acquiring the disputed territory. However, this may not necessarily be true. In most of the cases of peaceful territorial change resulting from settlements from 1815 to 1981, states gave away disputed territory in exchange for economic aid or compensation; political benefits such as peace, diplomatic relations, or political support; or security compensations in the form of military aid or political alliances (Kacowicz 1994). There are several cases where borders have been forcefully and...

  8. CHAPTER FOUR Characteristics of Territorial Disputes
    (pp. 69-93)

    Before examining the applicability of the theories to the cases examined, it is important to outline the scope and methods with which these cases were selected and the measurements of the variables examined. In this chapter, I outline the methods used to test the theories and outline the characteristics of the full universe of territorial disputes from 1953 to 2008, including both settled and ongoing disputes. By examining descriptive inferences, we can better understand patterns of strategies in territorial disputes and glean lessons to help prevent such disputes from escalating to armed conflict.

    To understand the variation in territorial dispute...

  9. CHAPTER FIVE The Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands Dispute
    (pp. 94-142)

    For almost four decades the People’s Republic of China (prc) and the Republic of China (roc) have disputed Japan’s sovereignty over several small rocky islands in the East China Sea, called Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu (or Diaoyutai in Taiwan) in Chinese.¹ Since the dispute began, the prc, hereafter referred to as China, has regularly made diplomatic and militarized threats about the disputed islands. In September 2005, China deployed five naval ships in the vicinity of the disputed waters, including a guided missile destroyer with its guns pointed at a Japanese p3-c surveillance aircraft (Valencia 2005). In the past few...

  10. CHAPTER SIX The Shebaa Farms Border Dispute
    (pp. 143-179)

    The Lebanese-Israeli border is one of the most militarized and conflict-prone borders in the world. “Inhabited by Syrians, occupied by Israelis, and claimed by Lebanese,” the hotly disputed Shebaa Farms “form the centerpiece of one of the Middle East’s most intractable border disputes” (Butcher 2005, 12). For two states that lack diplomatic relations (Lebanon does not recognize the state of Israel), they have many regular interactions, not by choice but because of their proximity and contiguity. Though the border between Lebanon and Israel was determined in the 1949 armistice agreement at the end of the first Arab-Israeli war, Israel’s 1978...

  11. CHAPTER SEVEN The Ceuta/Sebta and Melilla/Melilia Enclaves Dispute
    (pp. 180-224)

    Since 1956, when Morocco gained independence from France, it has officially maintained a territorial claim against Spain for two enclaves in North Africa, Ceuta (Sebta in Arabic) and Melilla (Melilia in Arabic), the Plazas de Sobrania (Chafarinas Islands in Arabic), and the Penones (Rocks) of Alhucema and Velez de la Gomera off the coast of North Africa. Though Moroccan officials have declared that Morocco’s territorial integrity will not be complete until the enclaves are returned and that settlement of the dispute is their main objective, evidence indicates that this is not necessarily the case. Over the years, there have been...

  12. CHAPTER EIGHT The Sino-Soviet/Russian Border and Territorial Dispute
    (pp. 225-278)

    In March 1969, two nuclear powers, the People’s Republic of China (prc) and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (ussr), came close to full-scale war after major armed clashes occurred along their disputed border. Almost forty years later, after several decades of hostility and unwillingness to resolve the dispute, these two major powers settled their longstanding territorial dispute in July 2008. This territorial dispute is worthy of study not only because it was so enduring and finally resolved, a stronger test for the theory, but also because it caused significant tension between two of the world’s greatest powers. The resolution...

  13. CHAPTER NINE The Resolution of Enduring Territorial Disputes
    (pp. 279-296)

    Territorial disputes cause instability in the international system, threatening tensions, crises, and even wars. Millions of people living in states involved in territorial disputes are affected either directly or indirectly by border clashes, ethnic conflict, terrorism, martial law, militarized occupation, forced transfers, refugee status, fear of invasion, and, in some cases, nuclear war. These threats are part of regular life for South Koreans, Taiwanese, Indians, Pakistanis, Georgians, Israelis, Cypriots, and others. The endurance of these disputes, or the lack of peaceful settlement, has multiple costs that put a strain not only on the states involved but also on the international...

  14. NOTES
    (pp. 297-304)
    (pp. 305-330)
  16. INDEX
    (pp. 331-340)