Belarus between East and West

White, S., Allison, R. and Light, M. (2005) Belarus between East and West. Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, 21(4), pp. 487-511. (doi: 10.1080/13523270500363411)

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Belarus has a historically divided identity and presently finds itself ‘in between’ the European Union member states and Russia. An analysis of official statements, focus groups and survey results suggests that foreign and security policy is made overwhelmingly by the country's powerful presidency, and that it is often more pragmatic than at first sight appears. Official statements avoid an unambiguous commitment to ‘east’ or ‘west’. This duality is also apparent within the foreign policy community, and at the popular level. Western governments have for the most part condemned the Lukashenko regime as ‘Europe's last dictatorship’ and reduced official contacts to a minimum; a policy of ‘constructive engagement’ might be less likely to push it towards a ‘Slavic choice’ including a greater degree of integration with the Russian Federation and the CIS.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:White, Professor Stephen
Authors: White, S., Allison, R., and Light, M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics
ISSN (Online):1743-9116
Published Online:02 August 2006

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