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Discusses why since 1996 some authoritarian rulers have been ousted but in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus opposition failed (in two successive elections in each case).
Discusses electoral defeats of authoritarian leaders from 1998 to 2005 (Slovakia, Croatia, Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan), but also unsuccessful movements in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus. Analyses local and international actors and draws comparisons with other parts of the world.
This article provides an analysis of the socio-economic background to the protests, the social and class composition of the protesters (and of those who did not take part) and the 'contradictions within the Belarusian "power elite". It was written whilst the protests were still taking place.
Interviews activists from Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Belarus, as well as Serbia.
Includes references to Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine.
Kascian explain how a new law to prevent the rehabilitation of Nazism is designed as part of the campaign to suppress Belarus civil society.
Kazharski notes that the mass movement that arose to reject the rigged 2020 election had been interpreted as the creation of a new civil society or even a new political nation. His article focuses on the relevance of the symbolic politics of the movement in creating a new sense of identity.
Tips for diplomats on how they can more effectively support local pro-democracy g roups facing repressive regimes. Case studies from South Africa, Ukraine, Chile, Belarus, Burma/Myanamar, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
Examines why protesters failed to achieve regime change in the 2006 presidential election. Argues that the historical background of the regime, the popularity of the president, and electors’ concern with economic rather than democratic issues were all important. Also considers role of Russia and its ambivalence towards the Belarus regime.
Mudrov, an academic working inside Belarus, argues that despite the initial impetus of the movement against Lukashenko from August 2020, there were four main reasons why it failed. The degree of support for Lukashenko was underestimated, some social classes such as industrial and agricultural workers were not well represented in the protests, government institutions consolidated behind the government and the police and military stayed loyal to the regime. Other factors were that protest symbols alienated many people, and many were deterred by the harshness of the repression. Mudrov also argues that the protests exacerbated divisions in Belarusian society, and increased hatred and distrust. But he concludes that there is also, especially amongst the young, increasing desire for change.
Article assessing who the protesters in Belarus are and what they want.
See also: Richard, Helene, 'Russia's Watchful Eye on Minsk' in this issue https://mondediplo.com/2020/10/07belarus
Richard discusses the aims of the protesters and draws comparisons with the Armenian uprising of 2018.
A journalist's eyewitness account of the uprising in Belarus from 4 August to 2 September, covering major demonstrations, strikes and the brutal regime response in Minsk and other parts of the country.
See also: Way, Lucan Ahmad, 'Belarus Uprising: How a Dictator Became Vulnerable', Journal of Democracy, vol. 31 no. 4. (October 2020), pp.17-27.
The author examines the mass popular response to the fraudulent presidential election, and clarifies how the protests differ from earlier 'colour revolutions', with leaders stressing not changes in foreign policy but free and democratic elections and constitutional government. He suggests that even if the uprising fails it shows that Lukashenko is vulnerable to popular challenge.
Examines presidential election of March 2006 and argues that, although the protests against abuses apparently failed, they created a ‘network of solidarity’ and a ‘revolution of the spirit’. Two essays by Silitski focus on the effectiveness of the authoritarian regime and why it can contain protest are:
Silitski, Vitali , Pre-empting Democracy: The Case of Belarus Journal of Democracy, 2005, pp. 83-97 , and
Silitski, Vitali , Contagion Deterred: Pre-emptive Authoritarianism in the Former Soviet Union (the Case of Belarus) In Bunce; McFaul; Stoner-Weiss, Democracy and Authoritarianism in the Postcommunist World (D. II.1. Comparative Assessments)New York, Cambridge University Press, 2009, pp. 274-299 .
This article, incorporating an interview with Tikhanovskya, the leader of the opposition to the Lukashenko regime in exile, provides a useful summary of the resistance to the rigged election in 2020 and the subsequent repression. Vock notes the ruthlessness of Lukashenko against the opposition internally and those in exile in EU countries, and his unscrupulous use of refugees from the Middle East to challenge the Polish/EU borders. He also indicates that the Belarus opposition, which initially did not challenge ties to Russia, has become explicitly hostile to Putin's backing for Lukashenko and more dependent on EU and western support. Vok also reports that a leaked poll from inside Belarus indicates that although Tikhanovskya has significant support, two of the jailed opponents of the regime, Babaryko and Kolesnikova, are more highly regarded.
Walker analyzes how the protesters in Belarus in 2020 used the 'Nexta Live' channel (run by a young Belarusian man in Warsaw) on the Telegram messaging app. The app combines easy availability of information and advice - allowing rapid dissemination of instructions to protesters and advance organizing - with privacy. Governments have great difficulty in blocking channels on the app. Whilst focusing on the Belarus context, Walker also notes that the app is used by protesters in Hong Kong, in Russia and by Extinction Rebellion. It has also been used by Isis fighters - though Telegram has begun to try to prevent this. The creator of the app is a Russian now living abroad.
Covers earlier Belarusian history and search for identity, but gives weight to analysis of President Lukashenka’s rise to power and how he maintained it effectively for so long, including his handling of the challenge in the 2010 presidential election.
EU ‘neighbourhood plans’ agreed with neighbouring states link economic cooperation with human rights and democratization. This report includes case studies of how this has been implemented - or not - in Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon, Ukraine, Belarus and Azerbaijan. FRIDE has published a range of reports and policy briefs - all available online - with critical analyses of ‘democracy promotion’, especially by the European Union and its members, including in the context of the ‘Arab Spring’.
A Guide to Civil Resistance
The online version of Vol. 1 of the bibliography was made possible due to the generous support of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC). ICNC is an independent, non-profit educational foundation that develops and encourages the study and use of civilian-based, nonmilitary strategies aimed at establishing and defending human rights, democratic self-rule and justice worldwide.
For more information about ICNC, please see their website.
The online version of Vol. 2 of the bibliography was made possible due to the generous support of The Network for Social Change. The Network for Social Change is a group of individuals providing funding for progressive social change, particularly in the areas of justice, peace and the environment.
For more information about The Network for Social Change, please visit their website.