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Article

Sovereignty as ‘organized loneliness’: an existential approach to the sovereigntism of Russian ‘state-civilization’

This article studies sovereignty not only in relation to state, identity, or power but also in relation to the distinction between concepts of ‘loneliness’ and ‘solitude.’ Considering this goal, it analyses ‘loneliness’ as a concept with potentially deep explanatory value when posing major questions in political theory. It also explores its relationship with ‘sovereignty’ and ‘political identity.’ Building on the existing literature on the connection between sovereignty and collective identity, this study extends such analysis towards a consideration of the interconnection between sovereignty and different forms of loneliness and relates them to ‘vertical’ and ‘horizontal’ modes of ‘organized loneliness.’ The main aim is to use the framework of political representations of emotions to illustrate how a particular type of ‘loneliness’ – ‘loneliness anxiety’ – is filled with political reason. In empirical part, the article illustrates three specific models in which the ‘management of loneliness anxiety’ may provide legitimacy, including for Russia’s conservative ideological program of ‘state-civilization’ and new 2020 amendments to constitution.