Participation in the Emerging Scholar Workshop on De Facto States

23 April 2024

On April 11 to 12 the fourth Emerging Scholar Workshop on De Facto States organised by the University of Tartu, Trinity College Dublin and Friedrich Schiller University Jena took place. The Workshop aimed at bringing together postgraduate, Ph.D. and post-doctoral students to encourage professional exchange, offer an opportunity to present current research and foster the emergence of peer academic networks. The participants joined from various universities and research institutes in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Cyprus, and Germany.

Hosted by the De Facto States Research Unit based at the University of Tartu, Estonia, the online workshop focused on topics related to de facto states and secessionist conflicts. De facto states can be understood as state-like entities that factually exist but lack international recognition by United Nations member states. This includes for instance, Transnistria in Moldova or Somaliland and Puntland in Somalia.

The workshop offered an opportunity for Lena Runge, research associate at the Center for Crisis Early Warning, to contribute a strategic foresight perspective on de facto states. Focusing on the use case of Transnistria, a secessionist territory internationally recognized as part of the Moldovan state, in the interstate conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the presentation revolved around the approach of Wild Card scenarios.

Further contributions by other workshop participants dealt with research on de facto states in the post-Soviet space, for instance Abkhazia or South Ossetia, or in relation to the conflict in Donbas. Apart from that participants presented their research on Nagorno-Karabakh, Taiwan, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Puntland, and even the Hezbollah in Lebanon. This diversity of research contexts enabled a very comprehensive insight in de facto states all over the world and enriched the discussions.


Picture source: © UniBw M