Belarus is one of the least studied European states to emerge from the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. In fact, few Western specialists paid much attention to its affairs during the Soviet era. Nevertheless, Belarus constitutes an important and sensitive border region between Russia and the western part of the continent. In Postcommunist Belarus, a stellar group of contributors examines the issues and the search for identity that Belarus has confronted in the period leading up to and following independence. The country is run in an authoritarian fashion by President Alexander Lukashenko and many observers, both inside and outside Belarus, would use the term "dictatorship" to describe his rule. Belarusian authorities prefer to emphasize the strong support of the people for the president and his cautious approach to economic reform. It seems unlikely that the country can hold out permanently against the wider pressures of democratization and economic reform that are transforming its neighbors. The country's situation offers political scientists many facets for comparison with established models. Belarus is grappling with challenges that are conceptual and psychological as much as they are political, economic, and social. Through new research, the contributors to Postcommunist Belarus offer an important, coherent, and comparative perspective on this little-known country.
Stephen White is professor of international politics and a senior associate member of the School of Central and East European Studies at the University of Glasgow. Elena Korosteleva, former British Academy Research Fellow at Glasgow University, is lecturer in European Politics, Department of International Politics, University of Wales, Aberystwyth. John Löwenhardt is senior research fellow at Clingendael, the Netherlands Institute of International Relations.
Date of Birth:
August 20, 1951
Place of Birth:
Long Island, New York
B.A., UC Berkeley, 1972; M.A., University of Colorado, Boulder, 1975; Ph.D., 1979
Chapter 1 Post-Soviet Belarus: In Search of Direction Chapter 2 Patterns of Political Culture Chapter 3 The Emergence of a Party System Chapter 4 Lukashenko and the Postcommunist Presidency Chapter 5 The Dynamics of the 2001 Presidential Election Chapter 6 The Belarus Economy: Suspended Animation between State and Market Chapter 7 Belarus and the East Chapter 8 Belarus and the West Chapter 9 Belarus and Postcommunist Democratization