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Research group on Belarus

The research group on Belarus has gathered in response to social movements that have begun in the country in 2020. Researchers are trying to reveal the root causes of this unprecedented resistance to the authoritarian regime, while studying its course and consequences. Given the multi-layered nature of these events, the group brought together researchers from different political disciplines and methodological approaches, who are interested in different aspects of this process, such as the preconditions for social and historical change in the Belarusian regime; comparison with other post-Soviet states; reasons and methods of involvement in protests; use of new media to organize protests; the regime’s response to protests and various resistance actions; the importance of international actors for the dynamics of events in Belarus and etc.

The group continues the long-standing traditions of Belarus research at IIRPS VU and seeks to bring together and train analysts interested in processes in Belarus and surrounding Eastern European countries. The members of the group have participated in and successfully implemented various projects related to Belarus, such as “The Factors of the Stability of Belarusian Regime and Trends of its Change”, “Lithuanian-Belarusian Relations in the History of Politics of the Republic of Lithuania and the Republic of Belarus”, as well as project of “Horizon 2020” program “The EU and Eastern Partnership countries: an inside-out analysis and strategic assessment”. During these projects, a number of scientific studies have been written on various aspects of Belarusian studies, ranging from international relations to the issues of historical memory. Recent developments encourage to analyse the processes in Belarus from various perspectives that are represented by researchers of different fields of political sciences in the group.

The group focuses on the collection and analysis of comprehensive data (surveys, in-depth interviews, oral stories, various types of media as well as other types of quantitative and qualitative data) related to the processes in Belarus. In this way, the aim is to turn into a relevant Belarusian research centre in Lithuania, contributing to high quality comparative and Belarus studies. Therefore, we are interested in cooperation with other institutions that seek a deep understanding of the transformation of Belarus and other post-Soviet societies and states.

An international conference “Belarus 2020 and beyond: Path Dependency or Break with the Past?” is organized by the members of the group an will take place on 6-8 October, 2020. The aim of the conference is to analyze the processes that have taken place in Belarus in 2020 and have shaken the foundations of the longest-running authoritarian regime in Europe. More information about the conference is available here.