The idea of sovereignty in the discourse of Lithuanian political actors at the beginning of the 20th century
The paper analyzes texts of Lithuanian political figures from the beginning of the 20th century – Antanas Smetona, Petras Klimas, Aleksandras Stulginskis, Steponas Kairys, Andrius Domaševičius – and reconstructs the idea of Lithuanian sovereignty (as a political thought) as well as the nuances of its verbal expression. It reveals the relationship between a theoretical (imaginary) and a practical (proposed) model of the sovereignty idea and reviews its emergence and formation in 1917–1918. The verbal expression by five actors of the idea of sovereignty is analyzed by distinguishing four elements (categories) within or related to it: identification with a particular community; unity in order to achieve common purposes; self–determination; and the sovereign. The paper also highlights the circumstances and ideas that have influenced the formation of political sovereignty in Lithuania. It is argued that in Lithuania at the beginning of the 20th century the establishment of sovereignty was perceived as a "physiological necessity", but how this should be brought about was conceived in different ways. The differences were between the principle of sovereignty and its functional limits, on the one hand, and the identification and conception of the political authority and the sovereign, on the other.