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Identity and Representation: Does ‘Name’ Matter As An Element of Statehood?


  • Kawser Ahmed Jahangirnagar University



Criteria of Statehood, Name of State, Identity, Greece, Macedonia


No state is born sans a name. The widely accepted view is that a state comprises its population, the geographical territory, the ruling government and capacity to enter into relations with other states. This paper argues that in addition to these traditionally recognised requirements, the name of a state, as the most suitable signifier of its identity, deserves to be recognised as an element of statehood. The reason for establishing a state is to create conditions as well as justification for exercising sovereign power, which ipso facto requires manifestation of its identity. This expected function seems impracticable at least in an international setting if a state does not have any name at all. The name of a state serves as the most efficacious vehicle for manifesting its identity as a legal entity. Moreover, practices concerning the name and naming of the prospective states show that it has been regarded as a crucial desideratum by the actors concerned in the course of attainment of statehood.