Rethinking the Sovereign: The Immanent Presence of the Political Order

Ignas Kalpokas

Abstract


This article reconsiders the concept of sovereignty by employing the theories of Benedict Spinoza, Jacques Lacan, and Carl Schmitt. Since the concept itself has become increasingly debatable in today’s world, the endeavour is to produce a new interpretation which combines stability with perpetual change. The article first considers a Spinozist-Lacanian interpretation of human nature, seen as relational and desire-driven, centred around an absence that operates as a driving force of human action. However, this drive is individual, not communal, hence political association is needed which, in turn, necessitates some equality in substance. Here the nature of sovereignty as the
ability and duty to determine the essence of that sameness kicks in. Sovereign decision functions as if there was a primordial criterion but, in doing so, masks both the lack at the heart of existence and the equally groundless nature of competing options. As such, it is permanently open for contestation.

Keywords


sovereignty, political order, community, law, coercion

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7220/2335-7185.18.1

ISSN 2029-0225 (Print)

ISSN 2335-7185 (Online)