Abstract or Introduction
This paper attempts to analyze Belarus' authoritarian features and deficits in terms of civil society and democratic unfolding of basic liberties, basing on the core premises of the theory of authoritarian regimes and the concept of civil society.
The 20th century was heavily marked by an immense ideological dispute between two opposing political and economic systems. The collapse of the Soviet Union brought an end to the Cold War and the profound confrontation between capitalism and communism throughout the globe. Nevertheless, the legacy of this wide system remains to some extent very influential in many of the nation-building processes of the post-Soviet countries. Despite the regional divergencies and the distinct sociopolitical developments, some continuities may derive from this common historical background. Belarus builds the focus of the study of this paper since it belongs to the nations, which have not successfully managed to bring forward a democratization process, failing to guarantee the core requirements for building a strong civil society. Moreover, the outcome of the 2020 presidential elections, which reinstated Lukaschenko for the 6th consecutive time in front of the Belarusian state, may corroborate the widespread thesis that characterizes Belarus as "Europe's last dictatorship". It is therefore attempted to explore which factors may have hindered the strengthening of civil society, bearing in mind that some of its current authoritarian features may have been inherited from the Soviet-era and remain deeply rooted in its political culture.
The premises of authoritarian regimes according to Maćków, as well as Gellner's and Diamond's understanding of civil society, constitute the theoretical background for understanding the impact of authoritarian practices in limiting political pluralism and hindering the building of a strong civil society. On one side, it should be analyzed which concrete factors throughout Belarus' history - after the Collapse of the Soviet Union - serve as an explanatory approach for the current political deficits in matter of civil society and political pluralism. On the other hand, it should be examined how the requirements for building and developing a strong civil society according to western- democratic standards have evolved during the last years in the country of study.
- Quote paper
- Daniela Forero Nuñez (Author), 2020, Lasting authoritarian features in Belarus. The Soviet Union’s legacy in the building of a civil society, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/1036222