Constitutive theory' is one of the two major theories of what is required for an area to be considered a sovereign state (country). It states that a territory is a country if it is recognised by other countries. For example, the United States is recognised by all 193 countries in the United Nations.
Here is a summary of the current recognition disputes:
- South Korea-North Korea: claimed and unrecognised by each other, North Korea unrecognised by Japan.
- Taiwan (ROC)-China (PRC): claimed and unrecognised by each other, 22 + Vatican City recognise Taiwan, some of whom don't recognise China.
- Cyprus-Northern Cyprus: claimed and unrecognised by each other, Cyprus recognised by all but Turkey, Northern Cyprus recognised by only Turkey.
- Israel-Palestine: claimed and unrecognised by each other, Israel unrecognised by 21 UN members, Palestine recognised by 126 UN members.
- Kosovo: claimed by Serbia.
- South Ossetia: claimed by Georgia.
- Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic: claims the territory known as Western Sahara, claimed by Morocco
- Abkhazia: recognised by 4 UN members, claimed by Georgia.
- Armenia: unrecognised by Pakistan for diplomatic reasons.
The other major theory is Declarative theory.