Rather than theoretically presume such relations, we empirically investigate de facto state–great power interactions through the use of a novel data set comprising 448 “WikiLeaks” US diplomatic cables from 2003 to 2010. Specifically, we examine US relations with the four de facto states of Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Somaliland, and Northern Cyprus to test four different hypotheses designed to explain what determines the degree of US support or hostility toward individual de facto states.

The conclusion summarizes our findings and assesses how they support, challenge, or enrich various theoretical arguments put forward in the de facto state literature. Collectively, the portrait painted by our analysis of the WikiLeaks cables reveals a previously hidden tapestry of great power–de facto state relations that is far richer and more variegated than typically assumed.

Lost and Found: The WikiLeaks Of De Facto State-Great Power Relations1


Scott Pegg, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

Eiki Berg, University of Tartu

International Studies Perspectives, Volume 17, Issue 3, August 2016, Pages 267–286,

Published: 02 February 2016


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