This book presents a comprehensive overview of current developments in Belarus. It explores how there has been an upswelling of popular support for the idea that Belarus must change. It highlights how the old regime, aiming to retain the Soviet legacy, reluctant to reform, presiding over worsening economic conditions and refusing to take measures to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, has been confronted by increasing bottom-up and horizontal social mobilisation which demands a transformation of state-society relations and a new sense of Belarusian peoplehood. The book outlines how the current situation has developed, considers how the present demands for change are deep-seated and long-brewing trends, and reveals much detail about many aspects of the growing societal mobilisation. Overall, the book demonstrates that, although the old regime remains in power, Belarusian society has changed fundamentally, thereby bringing great hope that change will eventually come about.
Elena Korosteleva, Irina Petrova, and Anastasiia Kudlenko
Part I. History, Identity, and Politics Revisited
1 The Political Symbols and Concepts of Statehood in the Modern History of Belarus
Andrej Kotljarchuk, Andrej Radaman, and Elena Sinitsyna
2 The ‘Genocide of Belarusians’ and the Survival of Lukashenka’s Regime
David R. Marples and Veranika Laputska
3 The Soviet Roots of the 2020 Protests: The Unlikely History of Belarusian Civic Nationalism
4 Foreign Policy Manifestations of Belarus’ 2020 Protest Movement: In-betweenness as Usual?
PART II: Socio-Economic and Institutional Landscapes
5 Stolen Decades: The Unfulfilled Expectations of the Belarusian Economic Miracle
Aleś Alachnovič and Julia Korosteleva
6 COVID-19 in Belarus: Politics, Protests, and Public Health
Christopher J. Gerry and Cora Neumann
7 The Belarusian Judicial System: What Can We Learn from Georgia and Ukraine’s Struggle for the Independent Judiciary?
Liudmila D’Cruz, Liudmila Kazak, and Pavel Kuryan
8 Belarusian Law as an Agent of Change
Thomas Kruessmann and Anna S.
PART III: Reclaiming Public Space and Fostering Peoplehood
9 Social Movements and Political Change in Belarus in 2020 and After
Tatsiana Chulitskaya and Eleanor Bindman
10 Societal Self-Organization in Belarus Post-2020: The Rise of Peoplehood
Elena Korosteleva and Irina Petrova
11 Activating and Negotiating Women’s Citizenship in the 2020 Belarusian Uprising
12 Tracing the Emergence of Peoplehood in Belarus and Ukraine: A Comparative Study
13 Where Does Belarus Go from Here?