De facto states - states that have failed to win international recognition - have long been understudied 'blank spots,' overlooked in academic literature and on maps.

However, they play critical and contentious roles in international politics: Since the end of the Cold War, de facto states have been involved in a disproportionately large number of violent conflicts, resulting in their establishment, change of status, or elimination. It is therefore important to understand the dynamics of de facto state politics, which is the overarching aim of the Dynamics of de facto state patron-client relations – or 'DeFacto' project at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs.

In this new episode of NUPI's podcats series 'The World Stage', we turn our attention to Abkhazia, a de facto state in Southern Caucasus at the eastern coast of the Black Sea, and we will focus on its efforts to secure diplomatic ties in the post-Soviet space and beyond, as well as its relationship with its patron state, Russia with the help of two guests: Dr Donnacha Ó Beacháin, Professor at the School of Law and Government, Dublin City University, and Pål Kolstø, Professor at the Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages at the University of Oslo.

Host is Tamta Gelashvili (the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and the University of Oslo).

Tune in to the episode here:


Want to learn more about this? Check out our seminar How do contested states seek international recognition? The case of Abkhazia with Donnacha Ó Beacháin here: