Toward a 'Healthy' Nationalism. BISS research on the national identity policy

Printer-friendly versionPDF version

Changes in the attitude of the Belarusian authorities to Belarusanization is a product of the accumulation of a variety of factors, which have been operating for a long time.

MAIN THESES

The 'soft Belarusianization' that is currently underway in Belarus is the result of convergence of actions of three types of actors: social activists, business and the Belarusian authorities. The motives of each of them may be different, but they all add up to the same effect.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict accelerated, but not generated, Belarusanization. Preconditions for this process had emerged over the previous decade, and the government began to appeal to national values in 2011-2012.

President Lukashenka is personally interested in having the idea of independence of Belarus become the main imperative for every citizen, especially for officials. Loyalty to Belarus is a necessary condition, though not sufficient one, for loyalty to his regime.

MAIN PROGNOSES

It is unlikely that Belarusanization will ever become for Lukashenka an independent value, that is something more than an instrument for achieving other goals.

There is also little probability that the ideological alliance with the nationalist movement will turn into a political coalition. One should not expect that political forces of nationalist persuasion, 
such as Belarusian Popular Front or Conservative Christian Party, will be admitted to government.

Nevertheless, the process of Belarusanization will continue: Lukashenka and his entourage will support it at least for pragmatic reasons; business, civic activists and a large percentage of the Belarusian citizens will do it for pragmatic and ethical reasons.

The above forecast can be invalidated in two instances: a) if there be a real threat of Russia's aggression, comparable to that which incurred Ukraine; b) if an accompanying process - 'soft liberalization' - go so far as to cause transformation of Belarusian authoritarianism into a form of a hybrid regime.

At the moment, the full text is only available in Belarusian (below). We are looking for resources to prepare an English version.