On 16 January 2014 Raul Toomla will defence his doctoral thesis "De facto states in the international system: Conditions for (in-)formal engagement" in the Council of the Faculty of the Social Sciences and Education.
Supervisor: Professor Eiki Berg (University of Tartu)
Opponent: Professor Deon Johannes Geldenhuys (University of Johannesburg)
Doctoral dissertation 'De facto states in the international system: Conditions for (in-)formal engagement' deals with periphery of international relations - the de facto states. These are entities that fulfil the criteria for statehood but lack the acceptance of other states - international recognition. Despite this several de facto states have survived in the world and are engaging with recognised states. The main purpose of this thesis is to find conditions that cause the informal engagement. But the research is not limited to finding conditions. We also search for combinations of conditions that help de facto states to be involved in the international system. To achieve this goal we use a method that is increasingly gaining popularity but remains little used in the analysis of international relations - Qualitative Comparative Analysis. There are four conditions to be analysed: secession; powerful patron; human rights; and economic conditions. The latter consist in turn from three components: exports from de facto state; foreign direct investment; and number of trading partners. Economic conditions are analysed twice, as a conjunction and as a disjunction. There are also three outcome conditions: foreign representations; formal recognition; and involvement in international organisations. The work shows that de facto states have different paths to achieve informal engagement and that the same outcome can be reached by different paths. Also, all tested conditions featured in at least one combination to some outcome. Hence we can say that all the conditions have some imapct, in combination with others, on the position of de facto states in the international system. Individual impact of conditions is visible through necessety rater than sufficiency. Special attention can be given to economic conditions that have little impact as a conjunction but visible as a disjunction. Overall contribution of the ork is to give a comparative framework which can be used as a platform for further more in depth analysis.