Decontestation of the concepts of sovereignty and strategic sovereignty in the official discourses of Russia and the EU (2016-2021)

Decontestation of the concepts of sovereignty and strategic sovereignty in the official discourses of Russia and the EU (2016-2021)

Article received: 2022.10.15. Accepted: 2023.04.19

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2023.04.03

For citation:

Kotsur G.V. Decontestation of the concepts of sovereignty and strategic sovereignty in the official discourses of Russia and the EU (2016-2021). – Polis. Political Studies. 2023. No. 4. P. 23-36. (In Russ.). EDN: BIZGDV

This work was supported by Russian Science Foundation (RSF) grant (project No. 22-28-00682,


The article focuses on the concept of strategic sovereignty that has proliferated in the EU’s official discourse over the last few years. The EU has turned to sovereignty relatively recently; the very identity of the Union previously developed in direct opposition with this national phenomenon. In contrast, sovereignty is the key attribute of state and society in the Russian official discourse; its significance has grown in connection with the recent Ukrainian crisis. The author of the article compares the semantic content of sovereignty in the EU’s and Russian official discourses using the methodology based on the morphological analysis of ideology by M. Freeden with the special focus on decontestation and adjacent concepts. Official discourse in the EU and Russia, including speeches of top politicians and key foreign policy documents, provide an empirical basis for this analysis. The author shows that the EU and Russian concepts have little in common. For the European Union, strategic sovereignty is the ability to make independent decisions, primarily in the economic, digital and security spheres, in order to deal with challenges above the national level. In the Russian semantic system, it is described as the most important social object associated primarily with state security, which must be protected from threats and interference. Despite some semantic intersections, the two concepts differ both in terms of paradigm, and in terms of specific semantic content. 

sovereignty, strategic sovereignty, ideology, the European Union, Russia, discourse, neoliberalism, conservatism.


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Content No. 4, 2023

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