1st Edition

Sovereignty through Practice Multiscalarity, Reflexivity, and Interdisciplinarity

Edited By Elia Bescotti, Jon-Wyatt Matlack Copyright 2025
    296 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores how actors practise sovereignty as a force in a multiscalar context.

    Among the various power structures that perform sovereignty, such as the head of state, a legislative body, or the military, one aspect is clear: the practice of sovereignty relies upon people at multiple levels - better portrayed as scales - of authority. This book focuses on actors – the people who bring sovereignty to life, who imbue it with meaning, and who are ultimately responsible for its practice. With that perspective, the volume interprets various case studies, such as Russian approaches to sovereignty in its leadership and Central Bank, Scottish parties' discourses, and NATO command structures. Beyond those contexts, the work also examines Chinese digital platforms, criminal gangs in Latin America, Polish and Czech nationalist movements, want-to-be states in Kurdistan-Iraq and Abkhazia, and Polish video games – together, these examples demonstrate how actors practise sovereignty in unity with, but also in place of, the state. As proof of concept, the authors further examine how they, as researchers, also qualify as practitioners of sovereignty. In a concluding three-chapter section, they reflexively explore how research methods and disciplines of study actively shape sovereignty and how the latter defines the outer limits of scholarly research.

    This book will be of interest of students of statehood, sovereignty, discourse analysis, history, political science, sociology, and International Relations.

    Introduction: Sovereignty through Practice, Elia Bescotti and Jon-Wyatt Matlack  1. Sovereignty and Local Governance in Violence-Affected Cities of Latin America, Viviana García Pinzón  2. Want-to-Be-States: Practices of Sovereignty in Kurdistan-Iraq and Abkhazia since 1991, Silvia Nicola and Tim Kucharzewski  3. Infrastructures for Sovereignty: Digital Platforms in Everyday Life, Yuhan Wang  4. The Decision is His Alone: The Latent Sovereignty of NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Jon-Wyatt Matlack  5. Localised Sovereignty: The Borderland of Teschen Silesia in Times of Upheaval (1918-20), Matthäus Wehowski  6. Central Banking in Russia: The Politics of Monetary Sovereignty and the Resilience to Financial Sanctions, Cornelia Sahling  7. The Russian World, the Great Past, and the External Threat: Deconstructing Vladimir Putin’s Discourse on Sovereignty (1999-2022), Anna Ivanova  8. The People, the Parliament, and the Ultimate Power: Competing Political Party Discourses on Sovereignty in Post-Brexit Scotland, Nelly Gérard  9. Playing for Sovereignty: Games Issued by the Polish Institute of National Remembrance and Their Role in Memory Politics, Matthias Melcher  Section of Common Chapters: Reflexivity and the Practice of Sovereignty in Research  10. Sovereignty in the Field: Experiences and Reflections on Doing Field Research in Contested Settings, Viviana García Pinzón, Tim Kucharzewski and Silvia Nicola  11. Information of the State: Reflections on Research Challenges in Archives and Government Statistics, Jon-Wyatt Matlack, Matthäus Wehowski and Cornelia Sahling  12. Studying Discursive Practices of Sovereignty, Anna Ivanova, Matthias Melcher and Nelly Gérard


    Elia Bescotti is a doctoral student at Université Libre de Bruxelles, and doctoral associate at the Graduate School of East and Southeast Studies, University of Regensburg.

    Jon-Wyatt Matlack is a doctoral candidate at the University of Regensburg and research fellow at the Leibniz ScienceCampus in Regensburg.