Book Review: Sovereignty, Statehood and Self-Determination: A Review of Claims to Statehood in International Law

Franks, M R | January 1, 1994

To tour the world while examining the various claims to sovereignty over virtually every inch, one may read Nil Lante Wallace-Bruce’s book, Claims to Statehood in International Law. His book is a fascinating excursion through the “four worlds.” Although the origin of the terminology is obscure,’ the term “First World” clearly refers to capitalist countries historically belonging to NATO and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The term “Second World” refers to the former Soviet Bloc. The term “Third World” refers to everything else, and has come to mean economically developing countries.2 More recently, the term “Fourth World” was coined to refer to indigenous populations whose lands and cultures are engulfed by countries of the First, Second and Third Worlds. Dr. Wallace-Bruce’s short book differs from the leading book on the subject of statehood in that his book consists primarily of case studies with particular emphasis on recent difficult cases.