This concludes that military occupation must be understood in terms of its dual nature, that is, its combination of a normative or legal dimension, the occupant’s possession of authority but not sovereignty, and a set of more empirical phenomena, the factual qualities that stand behind government by the occupant. It emphasises that some of the standard assumptions about occupation in the long nineteenth century, most notably the centrality of the ‘conservationist’ principle are dubious, that it was rather the proximity of conquest that was central. Similarly, non-belligerent occupation and multilateral occupation are often presumed to be innovations of the twentieth century but both were important features of the long nineteenth century. It also emphasises two other key features of the record of military occupation: the frustration it entailed and the recurrent failure to learn from the experience of occupation.
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