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Modern states today remain the legitimate means of political organization and the exclusive location of political authority. However, the international state system does not fully deliver on its promise of order and security and often leads to contestation of territorial integrity and alternative claims to sovereignty. Such claims occur within existing recognized states from groups which feel themselves excluded and prefer to aspire to their own statehood and international status. In the past fifty years, these processes have led to the establishment of at least seven de facto states and inspired tens of secessionist movements worldwide, most recently in Spain, the UK and Ukraine.
What are the de facto states? What status do they have in international relations? How Eastern and Western European secessionists are connected? How dangerous are they for the law and order in Europe?