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Better cores and claims in EU4

Updated from a comment of 2017-06-17

Needing to spend administrative power in order to assert your control over a province makes perfect sense. For example, it might represent the government's sending civil servants and policemen (not soldiers) from the capital in order to add the province's land and inhabitants to the rolls of the centralized administrative apparatus. However, it very obviously doesn't make sense that the same administrative expenditure has the diplomatic effect of forcing other countries to acknowledge your ownership or claiming of the land as rightful. It would be a lot cooler if gaining international recognition of owned or claimed land required the expenditure of bird mana rather than of paper mana. There could even be multiple tiers of claim—asserted unilaterally, recognized federally (by your immediate overlord and by all its other subjects), and recognized globally (by all independent countries), with multiple tiers of federal recognition if you're the subject of a subject—and only one claim of each non-unilateral tier could exist concurrently in a single province.

As an example, let's consider Nagorno-Karabakh. (Note: This chronology is based entirely on Wikipedia. I make no guarantees of accuracy.)

The entire area originally had both cores (purely administrative) and internationally-recognized claims (purely diplomatic) from the Russian Empire.

In the turmoil of the Russian Revolution, inhabitants belonging to the Azeri and Armenian cultures created their own governments. Armenia created a core on N-K, due to being in actual control. Both governments asserted unilateral claims over N-K, but lacked the diplomatic clout to create internationally-recognized claims over it (since Russia's claim remained in force).

The two governments were made vassals of Soviet Russia. In terms of ideal EU4, Armenia's and Azerbaijan's unilateral claims on N-K now existed concurrently with the Soviet Union's (eventually-)internationally-recognized claim.

The Soviet Union spent bird mana to (1) elevate Azerbaijan's unilateral claim on N-K to federally-recognized status and (2) force Armenia to transfer its control over and core on N-K to a new N-K government vassalized to Azerbaijan in fulfillment of the newly-federally-recognized claim. (To clarify: At this point, the land of N-K had (1) a unilateral claim from Armenia, (2) a federally-recognized claim within Azerbaijan from the government of N-K, (3) a federally-recognized claim within the Soviet Union from Azerbaijan, and (4) an internationally-recognized claim from the Soviet Union.)

When the Soviet Union formally granted independence to its subjects, all its internationally-recognized claims devolved to its former constituents. Therefore, Azerbaijan's former federally-recognized claim on N-K was elevated to internationally-recognized status.

Azerbaijan expended bird mana to revoke the federal claim on the N-K land that the N-K government had enjoyed, and attempted to take direct control of the N-K land (including a transfer of the core from the N-K government to Azerbaijan). The N-K government thereupon rebelled and voluntarily became a vassal of Armenia, under the name of Artsakh. However, neither Artsakh nor Armenia was able to muster enough bird mana to shift the internationally-recognized claim on N-K out of Azeri control, so the land was still rightfully Azeri in the eyes of the world. (To clarify: At this point, the land of N-K had a federally-recognized claim within Armenia from Artsakh, a unilateral claim from Armenia, and an internationally-recognized claim from Azerbaijan.)

If Azerbaijan conquers the province and finally fulfills the promise of its internationally-recognized claim, it presumably will destroy Artsakh's government and therefore Artsakh's core. The government of Artsakh will no longer exist, so it cannot have a unilateral claim on N-K, but Armenia will retain its own claim. Azerbaijan then will spend paper mana to create a core of its own on the territory.