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No branch of international law has been so badly misunderstood and needlessly confused as that of the recognition of new states and new governments. Recognition has been the football of diplomats who have made it mean anything that suited their purpose. It has certainly been grossly abused as a weapon of diplomatic pressure and intervention. It has in many cases proved to be an insoluble puzzle to the courts whose decisions have been sometimes conflicting and confusing. It has been a plaything for the political scientists who have taken delight in posing abstract problems of a theoretical nature.