belarus structure of the course n.
Download
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
Belarus Structure of the Course PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
Belarus Structure of the Course

play fullscreen
1 / 27

Belarus Structure of the Course

140 Views Download Presentation
Download Presentation

Belarus Structure of the Course

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript

  1. BelarusStructure of the Course • I. Basic facts • II. Two definitions of national identity that can be applied to Belarus • III. Historical overview: independence and subordination • IV. Belarus since independence: a rugged road to nationhood • V. Analysis of national identity in Belarus • VI. Group discussion

  2. Belarus: Basic Facts • area: 207.600 km² (landlocked) • population: 10,4 mio • population growth rate: -0.15% • life expectancy: 62 years (m), 68 years (f) • ethnic groups: 81,2% Belarusian, 11.4% Russian, 7.4% Polish, Ukrainian and other • religion: 80% Eastern Orthodox, 20% other (Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim etc) • official languages: Belarussian & Russian • export partners: Russia 66%, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, Lithuania

  3. Government and Politics • Government type: Republic • President: Alyaksandr Lukashenka • Administrative Divisions: • 6 voblastsi and 1 municipality: Brestskaya, Homyel’skaya, Mahilowskaya, Minskaya, Vitsyebskaya, Horad Minsk • Constitution: • 30 March 1994 - revised by national referendum 1996

  4. Political Parties: • Opposition: • BNF - Belarusian Popular Front (Burshevsky/Vyachorka) • Belarusian Social-Democratic Party Hromada (Shuskevich) • CAB - United Civic Party (Bogdankevich) • Agrarian Party (Sharetski) • Belarusian Labour Party • Belarusian Party of Communists • Others: • KPB - Communist Party of Belarus pro-Lukashenka • BPR - Belarusian Patriotic Movement pro-Lukashenka • Agrarian Party (Shimanski) pro-Lukashenka • Liberal Democratic Party (Gaydukevich) extremist party (links with Zhirinovsky) • Lukashenka: Bezpartyjnyj - no party affiliation, ex- communist

  5. Executive branch • Chief of state: Alyaksandr Lukashenka • Head of Government: Prime Minister GennadyNovitsky • Minister of Foreign Affairs: Mikhail Khvostov • Cabinet: Council of Ministers • Elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; first election in 1994, 2nd election should have been in 1999 but Lukashenka extended his term by referendum from 5 to 7 years • second elections on Sept. 9, 2001 - percent of vote - Lukashenka 75,6%, Hancharyk 15,4%

  6. Legislative Branch: • bicameralparliament : Natsianal’niy Schod (national assembly): • Sovjet Respubliki (Council of the Republic), 64 seats • Palata Predstavitelej (Chamber of Representatives), 110 seats • instead of previous 450 seats • Judicial Branch • Supreme Court: judges appointed by President • Constitutional Court: half of judges are appointed by President and half of judges are appointed by Chamber of Representatives

  7. National Identity? • After independence: • difficult for Belarus to develop and establish its national identity • Different parts of society have different views upon identity • two possible definitions:

  8. Anthony Smith (1991) • Fundamental features of national identity: • 1. a historic territory or homeland • 2. common myths and historical memories • 3. a common mass public culture • 4. common legal rights and duties for all members • 5. a common economy with territorial mobility for all members

  9. Benedict Anderson (1991) Imagined Communities • a nation = an imagined political community • (constructed identity) • end 18th C: Romanov dynasty - Russian Empire • begin 19th Century: self-identification: Romanovs = Great Russians • next step: imposed this on their subjects: official nationalism • in Russian Empire: through Russification (also in Belarus) • Russian identity followed by and continued in Soviet identity

  10. Historical Overview

  11. Two Remarks: • 1. Only two periods of real independence : • Rahvalod dynasty & 1918 • 2. History of Belarus is not exclusively linked to • Russia. 4 centuries of relations with West • (mainly Lithuania/Poland)

  12. Cautious national revival: 1986-1993 • Intelligentsia influenced by perestroika • 3 issuestriggered change: • 1. Chernobyl disaster 1986 • 70% of radioactive fallout on Belarus • 2. Language question • by mid-70s: 2/3 of Belarusians spoke Russian in daily life, only 1/3 Belarusian • 3. Mass graves in Kurapaty 1988 • archeologistZyanon Paznyak discovers graves • mass demonstrations

  13. Cautious national revival • 1989: Founding congress of Belarusian Popular Front (BPF) • in Vilnius. leader: Zyanon Paznyak • BPF and other groupings looked West for national identity: to common history with the Central European Countries and Baltic States (mainly Lithuania) • 1991: ° Republic of Belarus: common myths - new national symbols • white-red-white flag of 1918 • coat of arms with knight (Pahonya) Belarus - Great Duchy of Lithuania

  14. Cautious national revival: • Problems 1991-1993 • Ruling class: reluctant to change • internal quarrels (Paznyak vs. Shushkevich) - missed opportunities for BPF • BPF failed to bridge the gap to the countryside • “The Country was led by an elite, opposed by another elite, while the general masses, conditioned to Soviet Rule, were reduced to passive onlookers” (D. Marples)

  15. Lukashenka and Neo-Sovietism • Presidential Elections 1994: Lukashenka 80.1% • opposition: ‘100 day grace period’ • shadow cabinet • Lukashenka attacked state television and independent media • spoke invariably Russian : • different view upon national identity (than opposition)

  16. Referendum of May 1995

  17. After Referendum: • Referendum: success - why? • Soviet Style Flag and coat of arms • Soviet textbooks reintroduced • Russian became also a state language • introduction of (neo-)Soviet symbols and customs • Taras Kuzio: ‘sultanism’

  18. Referendum of November 1996Turnout 84%

  19. EU reaction to Referendum • Did not recognise new, amended Constitution • SANCTIONS • - PCA not conluded, nor Interim Agreement • - Belarusian membership of the Council of Europe not supported • - Bilateral Relations at Ministerial level suspended • - EU technical assistance programmes frozen • 1999: STEP-BY-STEP APPROACH • Sanctions gradually lifted upon fulfilment of 4 benchmarks set by OSCE: • 1. Substantial powers returned to Parliament • 2. Opposition representation in electoral commissions • 3. Fair access to the state media for the opposition • 4. Electoral legislation conforming to international standards

  20. Belarus-Russia • Recognised National Assembly • 1st years of independence: Belarus 1 of most heavily militarised countries in Europe - wanted non-nuclear, neutral status • PCA, START I, PfP • 1996 relations with West deteriorated (NATO enlargement) • rapprochement with Russia • economic dependence: - 66% of Belarus exports go to Russia - ‘the Assembly shop of the Soviet Union’

  21. Relations with Russia

  22. Belarus-Russia • Pessimistic Scenario: • Belarus as 90th subject of Russian Federation • Union State = pet project of Lukashenka • financial support through energy subsidies • change under Putin but Belarus still geostrategic importance

  23. National Identity • 1. Lukashenka & ruling class - (Neo-)Soviet Identity • - reinstating official nationalism: Soviet-style symbols • - Russification: Russian-language education and main state language • Lukashenka strives for a neo-Soviet identity. • Isolates Belarus both from democratic West and democratising East: • Belarus as an Imagined Community (Anderson)

  24. 2. Intelligentsia and young generation: Smith’s National identity • 1. Belarus as their homeland/historic territory • 2. shared common myths (times of independence) • 3. common mass public culture: weekly ‘Pahonya’ and Nasha Niva (°1991, orig. 1906) - underground network • 4. common legal rights and duties for all members: human rights aspect • 5. common economy : independent Belarusian economy: opposed to merging economy with Russia

  25. Anderson’s Imagined Communities  Lukashenka- Neo Sovietism  identity as an arena for the play of rhetorical practices of political actors constructivist view: identity is constructed, tied to civic and political commonalities of a group Smith’s definition of national identity  opposition’s view on national identity  primordialist view: identity is fixed and inherited by territorial and historical commonalities

  26. National Identity • Current situation: not hopeless • irreversible process of growing national identity • which path for ideas and support? • - exclusively Western • - or also Russian path? • Russian channel: option for high politics: cooperating through Russia? • 2 problems: • - make it an issue on the EU-Russia agenda • - Russia’s intentions with Belarus?

  27. Discussion • CIS • Do you think that the reluctant attitude of Ukraine towards Russia and the positive attitude of Belarus towards Russia is identity-related in the way it was presented here?