1st Edition

Interstate Conflicts and the International Civil Aviation Organization Depoliticization in Multilateral Diplomacy

By Michał M. Kobierecki Copyright 2025
    240 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book investigates the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and politicized debates held there. The author explores how participants have employed depoliticization as a defensive diplomatic technique in a multilateral forum. Analysing cases such as the ICAO membership/statehood of Spain, Taiwan, Cyprus and South Africa; various instances of the Arab-Israeli conflict; shootdowns of the Korean aircraft by the USSR and Iranian aircraft by the US, and the 21st Century tensions between Russia and Western countries, the book focuses on how states under criticism defended themselves and used depoliticization rhetoric to weaken ICAO decisions. The book allows us to see how rivalries play out in a different environment to more investigated cases in the UN and INGOs such as the International Olympic Committee. This broad scope will appeal to scholars and students of international relations and political science, the Cold War, the Sino-Taiwanese conflict and the Arab-Israeli conflict. It will also appeal to practitioners working in civil aviation


    1.The ICAO: History, Structure, and Functioning

    The Origins

    General information and organizational structure

    ICAO’s relevance


    2. Politics, politicization, and depoliticization in international organizations



    Depoliticization as a diplomatic technique


    3. Conflicts over ICAO membership and members’ statehood

    Spain’s ICAO membership

    Chinese membership in ICAO

    South Africa’s ICAO membership

    The conflict between Cyprus and Turkey


    4. The Arab-Israeli conflict in the ICAO

    Israeli complaints about civil aviation difficulties created by the Arab states

    Israeli attack on Beirut airport in 1968

    Interception of the Lebanese civil aircraft by the Israeli Air Force in 1973

    Jerusalem airport controversy

    Observer status of the Palestine Liberation Organization

    Interception of Libyan Arab Airlines flight by Israel 1986


    5. The political context of shootdowns of civil aircraft

    Shootdown of the Korean Airlines flight 007 by the USSR in 1983

    Shootdown of the Iran Air flight 655 by the US in 1988


    6. Tensions between Russia and the West on the forum of ICAO

    Forced landing of Ryanair Flight 4978 in Minsk

    The Russian invasion of Ukraine

    Russia-West estrangement at the 41st Assembly





    Primary sources

    Archival documents


    International treaties and conventions

    Social media posts

    UN Resolutions


    Secondary sources



    List of tables

    List of figures



    Michał M. Kobierecki is an associate professor of political science at the University of Lodz, Poland. He has over 50 scientific publications, including two books, one of which is published in English. He spent his whole research career working on international relations, with a specific emphasis on politics and sport.